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‘Ghost Rider’ Series Casting, ‘Pen15’ and ‘Ramy’ Renewals Lead Hulu Upfronts Day

Gabriel Luna will reprise the flame-skulled comics character, after previously playing him on ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

PEN15 "Ojican" Episode 103 - Maya feels a tickle down there which becomes kind of an addiction, distracting her from her best friend who really needs her. Maya (Maya Erskine) and Anna (Anna Konkle)

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle in “PEN15”

Alex Lombardi/Hulu

The first Hulu Upfronts day of the post-Disney/Fox merger era brought plenty to consider on Wednesday morning, with a handful of new series and the announced returns of a few others. Among the new entries to the upcoming Hulu slate: a series based on the “Ghost Rider” comics character, a series order for the latest Nicole Kidman-Lianne Moriarty-David E. Kelley collaboration “Nine Perfect Strangers,” and Season 2 renewals for acclaimed comedies “Ramy” and “Pen15.”

“Marvel’s Ghost Rider” will join “Marvel’s Helstrom” as a pair of new action dramas under the Hulu banner. After phasing out the previous slate of “Defenders”-centered Marvel series on Netflix, this will now create a trio of Marvel series directly released on Hulu. (The service recently renewed “Marvel’s Runaways” for a Season 3 last month.)

Variety is also reporting that casting for the “Ghost Rider” lead is complete, with the series calling on Gabriel Luna to continue playing the role after previously appearing as the chain-wielding, fiery-skeleton fellow on the ABC series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” “Helstrom” will follow two siblings who use their powers as the children of an enigmatic murderer to wreak vengeance on other would-be villains. That these series will debut on Hulu rather than on Disney+, a service also operated by Marvel’s parent company, speaks to a possible further separation in the offerings of the two, with more adult-oriented content landing on Hulu.

“Nine Perfect Strangers” is set as an adaptation of Moriarty’s recently published novel of the same name. After playing a protagonist in “Big Little Lies,” the last Moriarty book to get the TV treatment on HBO, Kidman will play a vacation resort manager who oversees an unpredictable series of events as one set of customers get more than they bargained for. Kelley will showrun and co-write the series alongside John Henry Butterworth.

“Ramy” and “Pen15,” which each received strong freshman seasons reviews across TV and here on IndieWire, will each be returning for Season 2. The service also confirmed the production of its upcoming limited series “The Dropout,” centered on Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. As previously reported, Kate McKinnon is signed on to play the lead role in the series.

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