Comic-Con 2011: Why You Should Be Excited About a ‘Ghost Rider’ Relaunch

By  · Published on July 26th, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: Why You Should Be Excited About a ‘Ghost Rider’ Relaunch

Unlike Robert Fure, I’m excited for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Like Nathan Adams, I dislike ‐ not hate ‐ the first film and its Myster Science Theater-esque enjoyability. Understandably, there’s a lot skepticism towards this Ghost Rider installment. I mean, who wants to see a sequel to a film that very, very few people actually love?

Not many. Lucky for them, this isn’t a sequel.

The fact alone that this is a Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine “superhero” film already gives you a hint that this won’t be a run-of-the-mill action film. They’re out to deliver something dark, bizarre, and one of the few superhero films that doesn’t take itself too seriously. When directors has their lead pissing fire, the odds are something unique is getting made.

Here a few things I learned about during the Comic-Con press conference that should make you excited about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

It’s Not Really a Sequel

This is a standalone story with a new tone, a new Johnny Blaze, a new Ghost Rider, and an all new everything. To make matters better, “We didn’t really consider the first movie at all,” said Brian Taylor. The director continued that they, “wanted to make a great movie on its own terms,” and that this version is, “what people, comic book fans, wanted to see from Ghost Rider, which is darker and more intense.” Dark and intense is the best way to describe the character in the comics, so the directing duo definitely understand the main appeal of the character.

Ghost Rider Ain’t Your Knight in Shinning Armor

Johnny Blaze was, even as Nicolas Cage described him, a bit of “goofball” in the first film. But what ended up on-screen was too goofy. This time, Blaze won’t be in as high of spirits, and Taylor labeled this Ghost Rider as a, “pure nightmare,” and that, “there’s no logic to it at all. He’s not a superhero. He’s more like a horror character.” The flaming skull isn’t interested in prisoners or saving the world, but instead is kindly interested in “sucking out your soul.”

Cage is Not Just Johnny Blaze, but Also Ghost Rider

Unlike the first Ghost Rider film, Cage actually gets to play Ghost Rider. The physicality of the character was important to the actor, and he got to put his own stamp on it. “When I was trying to think about how the Ghost Rider would move, with Brian and Mark, who both really wanted me to play Ghost Rider in this, I was thinking about trying something really weird.” The weird bit he’s describing is,”trying to find a body language from another dimension,” and looking at, “different [types of] animality, like Cobras and insects.”

Neveldine and Taylor Have it in Them to Make One Cool Comic Book Movie

It’s a real shame Neveldine and Taylor didn’t get to make their Jonah Hex film, especially considering the train-wreck that made it to the screen. The film didn’t resemble their lunacy-driven script, at all. If the duo bring half of that script’s balls-to-the-wall nature to Ghost Rider, expect something refreshingly crazy. Mark Neveldine said the biggest similarity between the two projects is that, “They’re dark guys going to a dark place, but this is more adrenaline fueled.”

Idris Elba is Playing a Drunk French Monk

‘Nough said.

If You Hate the Crank Films, Perhaps You’ll Like This One

Neveldine and Taylor aren’t filmmakers interested in restraint. They’re extremists at heart, and that type of style isn’t for everyone. But to those who find their style unappealing, don’t expect them to deliver another Crank: High Voltage. Their unique style will still be present, but not fully. Mark Neveldine elaborated on the topic that, “It’s not as in your face [as our other films]. We want people to be sucked into this world. We don’t want to be attention grabbers, like we’ve done in the past.”

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance hits theaters on February 17th, 2012.

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Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.