Remember back in 2016, when Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had Ghost Rider in the same continuity as the Avengers? Well, now the actor who played the MCU’s Ghost Rider, Gabriel Luna, is on Twitter toying with fans over some possible involvement with Avengers: Endgame.
On Monday, hours before the premiere of Avengers: Endgame in L.A., Luna tweeted to his 31,000-plus followers on Twitter, “Whatever it takes.” The line has become a de facto tagline for the movie, as the Avengers have sworn in the trailers to do “whatever it takes” to avenge their fellow heroes against Thanos.
The real likely scenario here is that Luna, an alum of the Marvel Universe (he hasn’t appeared in any Marvel production since Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), is possibly showing up at the premiere in L.A. and just tweeted out the film’s ominous catchphrase in excitement. Luna attended the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War last year, and when he was asked about any potential return as Ghost Rider, he told Marvel, “I have nothing to tease.”
But, and hear me out here, what if he’s not, and Luna actually has a surprise appearance in one of the biggest Marvel movies of all time?
Casting doubt on this are two things, only one of which actually involves Luna being available to film any scenes for Avengers in Atlanta.
First, Marvel Television, the subsidiary of Marvel that produces content for television networks and streaming (not including the upcoming shows on Disney+), has never been in sync with Marvel Studios, the billion-dollar machine that spans 2008’s Iron Man to now Avengers: Endgame.
This “civil war” goes back to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige’s well-known professional disputes with Marvel CEO, Ike Perlmutter. In September 2015, Feige won freedom from having to report to Perlmutter and began, instead, reporting to Disney’s Alan Horn. Jeph Loeb, effectively the Feige of Marvel Television, still reports to Perlmutter. And it was under Loeb’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Ghost Rider appeared on TV in 2016.
A second fact that leaves any cameo by Luna unlikely is that while Avengers: Endgame was undergoing principal photography in Atlanta, Luna was on the set filming the next Terminator film, Terminator: Dark Fate throughout Hungary, United Kingdom, Spain, and Mexico.
While it’s not impossible for Luna to have had a weekend to sneak off into the states to film a few minutes of Endgame, it’s just as reasonable to believe the scheduling conflict made it impossible to take place.
Furthermore, unlike most leaks and online rumors that spill out from Marvel movie sets that fuel fan theories, a cameo with Luna has not been one of them. You can always bet that the paparazzi watching Marvel sets like hawks would find some hint, like a hard-to-miss muscle car for any action scenes, but nothing relating to Ghost Rider was found anywhere near the set.
The only close analog for Luna, should he have a cameo in Endgame, is what happened last year in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Ray Park, who played Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, reprised his character in a surprise cameo at the end of Solo. Park also attended the film’s premiere, with the majority of the press and public unaware of his appearance in the movie.
In the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luna had a recurring role as Robbie Reyes, a newer version of the Ghost Rider from Marvel Comics. A street racer in L.A., Robbie was killed in a race before coming back to life thanks to the Spirit of Vengeance. Since his comics debut in 2014 from Felipe Smith, Robbie has had a handful of adventures, including joining the Avengers as a full-fledged member in Jason Aaron’s current run in The Avengers.
The last talk of Ghost Rider goes back to late 2016, when Luna told ComicBook that a spin-off Ghost Rider series was “talked about.” Years passed before Luna again talked about Ghost Rider, only that he believed his character survived the cataclysmic “snap.”
“Hey, I’m already dead bro,” Luna told ComicBook in April 2019. “I can’t die again. [Thanos] can’t touch me.”
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26.