Ghost Rider won't be returning to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when the show comes back from its midseason winter break, and not just because the show's story is moving in a different direction. According to co-showrunner Jed Whedon, there were budgetary concerns to consistently portraying Robbie Reyes' flaming skull.
Whedon and fellow producer Jeffrey Bell admitted to TVLine that there were "financial considerations" in the choice to end Robbie's storyline at the midseason finale, but as Whedon explained, “He is trapped in another place, which usually means that he’s not dead.”
Gabriel Luna, who portrayed Reyes, previously spoke about spinning Ghost Rider off into his own TV series or film, or even having him crossover with other Marvel heroes. Whether that is still on the table, or how far along those plans may have been, is unknown.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns January 10 on ABC.