Ghost Rider was a piece of shit. It had a rough start from the beginning; I mean it’s not easy adapting a comic book based on a guy who’s sporting a flaming skull. They tried to make something serious, but the result was something really silly and my biggest flaw with the first film was that they didn’t embrace the silliness. You either cut it serious or silly, I don’t care whichever you pick, but stick with it. Director Mark Steven Johnson didn’t pick, which left Nicolas Cage walking around for 2 hours, sometimes with his head on fire and sometimes with his brain on fire. I’m trying my hardest to remember what the hell Ghost Rider was even about and even that is becoming a chore. That’s not a good sign for a film that was only made in 2007.
But then hope came, in the form of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The two crazy bastards that brought us Crank, Crank 2 and Gamer. Is either of those films considered amazing, top quality stuff? Hell no, but are they entertaining and completely ridiculous? Hell yes! The team of Neveldine/Taylor has become one of my guilty pleasures in Hollywood. Most people give me a pass for liking the Crank films because their just nuts on a new level, but when I mention that I also enjoyed Gamer, I completely lose ’em. I don’t know why, honestly. I just love the way they shoot, edit and generally make their films. They always end up uber violent and full if innovative camera shots and techniques. The editing is also really fast paced and full of added filters and different effects. Watching a Neveldine/Taylor film feels like the closest thing to Speed without actually taking some.
And why do I keep talking randomly about these two filmmakers? Because they are directing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The have been given control of a comic book character that is just screaming to get onto the big screen again and in a good way. Ghost Rider is such an odd character by nature, half bad ass and half offsetting and I think Neveldine/Taylor have exactly what it takes to make a good, faithful adaptation. I really wish Sony would just give them complete reign over the film and let them give us an R rated, vigilante rampage of a flick with a flaming Nicolas Cage at the center. Ghost Rider is a dark character and it would be best if we could see him go completely dark, but Sony knows this is a Marvel character and a possible moneymaker, so they won’t be going too far out on the ledge. They already went far enough green lighting a sequel and giving it to these two wackos, but man could they really make a unique film if they had full potential.
Still, there is hope left in this project, maybe not in the form of a solid story, but at least in a crazy visual take on the character. At least Nicolas Cage is coming back, because I honestly thought he fit the bill really good. In addition to the always random and wonderful Cage, we have Idris Elba making an appearance.
Collider has posted a few scans from Empire Magazine that features Nic Cage, Idris Elba and the Ghost Rider. Take a peak below.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is scheduled for a release on February 17th, 2012. Keep checking back for more info on the project!
The film sees Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider (Cage), hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil (Ciaran Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son’s body on the kid’s birthday.