Here's how the Ghost Rider costume has evolved during his live-action appearances. Prior to accepting the lead in Ghost Rider, avid comic book fan Nicolas Cage had tried more than once to appear in a comic book movie. The most famous failed attempt was when Tim Burton cast him as the title character in Superman Lives, which was eventually cancelled due to budget and script concerns. He was also attached to the Green Goblin role in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man before dropping out.
He finally scratched his comic book inch with 2007's Ghost Rider, but while he received good reviews for his suitably outlandish turn as Johnny Blaze, the movie itself was poorly received. It was a surprise success, however, so Cage came back for 2011's Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance. This sequel acted as something of a soft reboot and the budget was about half of the original movie. While it was a definite improvement, the sequel was still considered a dud. Cage personally ruled out Ghost Rider 3 and the rights to the character reverted to Marvel.
Gabriel Luna took over the mantle of the Ghost Rider for Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, playing Robbie Reyes, who in the comics was the fifth character to inherit the power. Here's how the Ghost Rider costume has evolved in live-action.
Ghost Rider (2007)
The 2007 Ghost Rider costume didn't stray far from convention, with Johnny Blaze wearing a leather jacket and dark jeans as he transformed into his demonic alter ego. Sadly, this look proved too clean, especially when combined with the unconvincing CGI skull effect. The character probably should have been given some gloves during his first appearance too, since his bony fingers are distracting. This is rectified in later scenes, where he also makes sure of his trademark chain.
Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance (2011)
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank), who loaned the sequel some of their crazy energy. They also gave the Ghost Rider costume a make-over, giving the character a much grittier look. Their inspired touch was the idea that Rider's flames were melting and charring his leathers, and his skull also has a charred texture.
Cage also played both Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider in the sequel, which makes all the difference in terms of body language. While the movie itself wasn't great, it did a great job with Ghost Rider's look.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D (2016)
Gabriel Luna's Robbie Reyes would prove to be a highlight of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D season 4. The show was very faithful to Reyes Ghost Rider costume look, including the black and grey jacket with white stripes on the front, and the cool skull-shaped helmet, taking the place of the flaming skull. This version of the character also rides a Dodge Charger instead of a bike. Luna is set to return as the Ghost Rider in a forthcoming Hulu show.