Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is on the works; Nicolas Cage & Crank directors onboard

"Crank" directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are in early negotiations to direct Columbia’s “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the sequel to the studio’s 2007 supernatural action movie starring the Marvel Comics character.

Nicolas Cage is also in early negotiations to reprise his role as Johnny Blaze, a stunt motorcyclist who, in order to save the life of a loved one, makes a deal with the devil. His soul is twinned with that of a demon, and he becomes a flaming-skulled figure driving a motorcycle from hell.

While the dealmaking is in the preliminary stages, the studio hopes to get principal photography going by late fall. Plot details are under wraps, and it is not known if any other character from the previous movie will return.

The first movie which was released 2007 had excruciatingly poor reviews and did not do well in the box office. But the studio was facing a ticking clock scenario that if it didn't act on a sequel soon, the rights to the franchise would have reverted to Marvel. It even considered the possibility of going ahead without Cage.

David Goyer wrote the story. Neveldine and Taylor are writers as well as directors, and the duo may do a rewrite, although that has not been determined at this stage. Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul are producing. Goyer and Mark Steven Johnson are exec producing.

Personally, I had high hopes for the first movie when it opened. But the film really was an utter disappointment. Ghost Rider is one of the darkest characters in the Marvel Universe, and to treat it in a light, campy, or friendlier approach would be to weaken the strength of a movie adaptation. Duh!!!---It's a dark hero with a flaming skull... chains, spikes, and a bad-ass bike... that should give you a hint that this should have more or less the same treatment as movies like The Crow or Blade. The sequel should re-imagine its treatment and make it dark, or else they'll get another "missed the opportunity" failure.

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