In a pair-up as enticing as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE combines the rich, nutty goodness of Nic Cage with the tasty junkiness of the Neveldien/Taylor directing team. Transporting Marvel’s tortured, soul-sucking biker to Eastern Europe, the sequel has him joining forces with Idris Elba and Violante Placido to save a young boy from the clutches of Satan — here portrayed by Ciarán Hinds — and his minions. As befits a GHOST RIDER story, much road-based action ensues; as befits CRANK-masters Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, much frenetic craziness gets layered onto that.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons rally together to discuss whether the Neveldine/Taylor style is enough to overcome the script’s stock elements, and whether even the extensive depth of the 3D screen is enough to accommodate a Nic Cage performance. Also: Steve gives his capsule review of THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY; and what’s coming in theaters and on home video.
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directors of GHOSTRIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE, admitted to MTV that they’re not exactly sticking to the spirit of the Marvel Comics that inspired the character of Blackout, played in the film by Johnny Witworth.
The character in the film will be a mortal villain who is transformed by the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) into Blackoutbook, a demonic creature with powers that “cancel out” the Ghostrider (Nicholas Cage).
In the Ghostrider comics, Blackout was a human-demon hybrid, cursed from birth. A light-sensitive albino, the character had superhuman strength and speed, and the ability to negate all light in the area around him. He had metal fangs and claws, with the implication that these were mechanical implants the product surgery at some point in his lifetime.
Co-director Brian Taylor revealed “We didn’t really honestly do a lot of research into the comic book version of Blackout… We kind of just took the visual of him and went from there.”
Well, it’s a honest admission, at least. It remains to be seen whether the decision will adversely affect the film’s box office in a significant way. Certainly, it will alienate hard-core fans.
From Empire magazine via SuperheroHype comes these two official (one presumes) pictures from GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.
This new Ghost Rider film takes Marvel Comics’ Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) to Europe where he’s driven towards thwarting the plans of the Devil to become incarate.
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (CRANK) from a story by David S. Goyer and screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth HoffmanSeth Hoffman screenplay.
Also starring Ciarán Hinds, Johnny Whitworth (CSI: MIAMI) as Blackout, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, and Christopher Lambert.
Due out Feb, 17th, 2012 from Columbia Pictures Studio, the film is not a direct sequel to 2007’s GHOST RIDER, but a kind of “soft reboot”, keeping lead actor Cage, taking place “eight years later”, but more or less ignoring the details of the first film.
Shot in various Eastern European locations, notably Romania and Turkey, it remains to be seen if the relatively modest-budgeted film will find more favor with fans than the inital cinematic outing.
Talking to GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE co-director Brian Taylor (CRANK) Movieline.com reports the following intriuging information.
“We basically completely re-envisioned the whole start of the character, and actually had to re-engineer the origin of the Ghost Rider. The whole mythology behind the Ghost Rider that existed in the comic books never really made sense to me, so we sort of had to re-engineer the entire back-story of the Ghost Rider into something new.
We’re just looking at it as an evolution. The movie takes place years later. We’re not disowning the first movie but this Ghost Rider is an evolved form of the previous Ghost Rider. And the mythology that went behind it is stuff that never got delved into in the first movie, anyway.
Like, they don’t talk about who the demon is from when Johnny Blaze becomes the Ghost Rider. We get into that and really get into who that guy is, what his story is, and what makes GR the way that he is. “
Well, it certainly sound different from the first film. Whether the changes will work for comic book fans and help make for a good supernatural-action movie remains to be seen.
Previous reports have mentioned that Nicolas Cage will also be playing the demon Zarathos that Brian Taylor spoke about above, and that an exorcism may take place. In the comics, Johnny Blaze and Zarathos were eventually split, freeing him from the curse of the Ghost Rider—for a time, anyway.
Nicholas Cage, in LA to promote DRIVE ANGRY 3-D, told Fearnet.com that in GHOSTRIDER: SPIRIT OF VENEGANCE he’s playing somethin of a dual (or would that be triple) role.
“There’s an exorcism scene I just did where Johnny Blaze is being exorcized. And then I also play Ghost Rider, who’s the spirit of Zarathos, who’s a corrupted angel. So it’s like completely different entities.
The movie is not like anything I’ve done before. It’s completely original. I think it’s a really high adrenaline ride. And I think you’ll see things in it that are mysterious as well.”
The supernatural action-thriller DRIVE ANGRY 3-D opens today (sans advance critic previews).
Nicholas Cage will soon be winging his way back to Romania, where SPIRIT OF VENEGANCE is still in production under co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (CRANK).
Marvel Movies! Facebook page is featuring a gallery of picture from the GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE shoot on location in Cappadocia, Turkey.
First off, is that Nicolas Cage himself in white greasepaint and motion-capture cap and jacket? Might be.
There’s plenty of pics of a mellow-looking Cage possing with Turkish oggicals visiting the location, which includes some very photogenic hills and what looks like a monastery or stronghold. Monstary might be the ticket, and the plot deals with Johnny Blaze enlisted to fight the Devil himself (Ciaran Hinds, ROME, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN).
There’s also a shot of actors in what might monk’s robes. One seems to have a tattooed forehead.
Whatever directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have in mind for the screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman screenplay (from a David S. Goyer story) , GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE promises to have a different vibe than it’s predecessor.
Due out February 17th, 2012 from Columbia Pictures and Hyde Park Entertainment.
Interviewed for SEASON OF THE WITCH (opening today), star Nicolas Cage talked about reprising his role of Johnny Blaze in GHOSTRIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.
On working with co-directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine (CRANK), he expressed his enthusiasm.
“They’re not like anybody else I’ve worked with. They do things with the camera that are just extraordinary. They’re brand new. The director’s on rollerblades and hanging from wires with the camera, holding on to the motorcycle and it’s going to be really wild.”
SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE promises to be a departure from the first GHOST RIDER.
“…Very different. A completely new experience and that’s how the directors choose to see it. I mean, there’s even a new origin sequence.“
Sounds like an interesting way to start again, and hopefully the film will be a much fun for fans as the experice of making it seemed to be to the star. via the UK Press Association
According to The Wrap, Sony Pictures has teamed up with Hyde Park Entertainment (PREMONITION), to cofinance and produce GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE.
The 3-D sequel to 2007’s GHOST RIDER has also had it’s budget reduced to a reported $75 Million, down from an original estimate of aproximately $135 Million.
Shooting in Europe, and using the efficent directing team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (CRANK, GAMER) might figure into the new budget, which sounds more in line with the audience the film can be expected to attract; a very respectable showing, but not a blockbuster.
Hyde Park will have the international distrubution rights, while Sony will keep the domestic rights.
Nicolas Cage returns as hero Johnny Blaze, joined by Idris Elba, Ciaran Hinds and Placido Violante.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE is being produced by Mike deLuca, Avi Arad and Hyde Park Entertainment’s Ashok Armitraj.
Sony Pictures has not yet commented on the report, so treat this as unconfirmed as yet.