'Ghost Rider' Drama From Marvel TV Dead at Hulu

Gabriel Luna and GhostRider-Split-H 2016
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; Courtesy of Comicbookresources.com

Ghost Rider will not ride again. 

Disney-owned Hulu has opted to scrap its live-action Marvel drama some four months after the project was picked up straight to series at the streamer, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Sources note creative issues stalled the series that was to feature Gabriel Luna reprising the fan-favorite role from ABC's fellow Marvel drama Agents of SHIELD.

Ghost Rider revolved around anti-hero Robbie Reyes, who is consumed by hellfire and supernaturally bound to a demon. Reyes lives on the Texas/Mexico border and when he unleashes the Rider, he brings vengeance for the innocents he encounters, but struggles to control the power he wields.
The project was to be executive produced by Ingrid Escajeda (Justified), who was to serve as showrunner; Paul Zbyszewski (Agents of SHIELD, Lost); and Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb.

Ghost Rider was one of two live-action Marvel dramas that was ordered straight to series at Hulu in May. The other, Helstrom, is still moving forward. That series also hails from Zbyszewski and Loeb. Both shows were to exist in the same universe as Hulu sought to build an interconnected live-action Marvel universe similar to the original franchise at Netflix. Both efforts were from ABC Signature Studios. 

The Luna-led Ghost Rider was to be the third Marvel live-action series at Hulu, joining Runaways from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Additionally, the streamer has an interconnected animated Marvel slate that includes the comedies MODOK, Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler Show, Howard the Duck and the team-up special The Offenders. (The latter title should be considered a dig at Netflix, whose live-action miniseries team-up was called The Defenders.)

The Hulu live-action Marvel slate arrived on the heels of Netflix's decision to sever all ties with the comic book giant earlier this year when it canceled The Punisher and announced that the third season of Jessica Jones would be its last. Those joined Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil and mashup mini The Defenders on the canceled heap. The decision was brought on after Netflix and Marvel's relationship soured. (Read our deep-dive analysis into what happened here.)
Ghost Rider is the latest high-profile project to be sacked at Hulu, joining The Grisham Universe, the innovative two-show franchise that was being prepped at the streamer. 

The timing comes as Hulu parent Disney is poised to launch the streaming service Disney+ in the coming months. That platform will feature a large inventory of Marvel live-action original series with stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to reprise their roles. Those shows, unlike Hulu's Marvel slate, are being produced and overseen by the comic book powerhouse's film division. 
Ghost Rider is also the third straight-to-series Marvel show to be scrapped, joining Donald Glover's animated Deadpool, which was set up at the now-Disney-owned FX, and Freeform's New Warriors.