OH, NO!! Ghost Rider 2 May Happen!… Without Nic Cage

New York Magazine's Vulture blog is reporting that, if Nicolas Cage's schedule doesn't open up soon, Columbia Pictures may well go ahead and film Ghost Rider 2 without him.

This situation is a practical example of the rights issues we often talk about in movie discussion threads here at iFanboy. There is always someone pining for an X-Men/Iron Man team-up, and we always have to break the news that it just is not going to happen. Fox bought the X-Men movie rights, and they only have to give them back if they go too long without using them. In this case, Sony/Columbia has until November 14th to make another Ghost Rider movie, or the rights to Ghost Rider revert back to Marvel/Disney. (Columbia has asked for an extension, but I cannot fathom a good reason for Marvel to leave that money on the table.)

As someone who is still coming to terms with the fact that a Ghost Rider movie– starring Nicolas Cage!– was ever made, there is a lot in this Vulture post that I am struggling to fit into my head. The idea that Columbia needs Ghost Rider 2 because they need a blockbuster next year, and it is presumed that a Ghost Rider 2 would be that. The idea that Ghost Rider 1, which was totally made, was a success on any level. (Did you know it made $230 million? That alone is reason enough for Columbia not to let it fall back into Disney's hands.) The claim that Ghost Rider 2 depends on the million-watt star power of Nicolas Cage, however, might be too much for me to countenance:

But would the film work without Cage? One unconnected producer who’s worked in the comic-book genre gave Vulture an emphatic no, pointing out that the Ghost Rider character isn’t particularly well-known; any familiarity with it comes from associating the face of Cage — a worldwide box-office draw — with the title. Compare that to Iron Man 2, for which billboards all over the nation show nary a glimpse of star Robert Downey Jr. You don't need the star to sell that movie, you just need the suit.

No part of that paragraph is native to this dimension. I know we're talking about international box office here, but does anyone on earth really believe that the performance of Robert Downey Jr. has nothing to do with the success of Iron Man? Do they really think people came for the suit? Conversely, is someone trying to tell me that people who went to see Ghost Rider did so for the scenes when he wasn't a flaming skeleton on a motorcycle? Were lots of 13-year-olds lining up because they heard he had great chemistry with Eva Mendes?

This is so befuddling I don't trust myself to process it anymore. What do you think? Would you see Ghost Rider 2, even without Nicolas Cage?


  1. Matters who plays Johnny.

  2. Who cares. I bet we’ll see alot of these rushed movies just so Fox or Sony can keep the characters rights.

  3. i still regret seeing the first one. no way in hell am i paying ten dollars to see the second.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I might see it if they go the Hulk route and just mostly ignore the first one. I’m not ape for the character, but if they filtered him through the Death Proof pantyhose, it could be kinda neat. 

  5. Never saw the first one.

  6. I think the best thing for the character is to be back in Marvel’s hands

  7. I wouldn’t watch Ghost Rider 2 WITH Nic Cage.

  8. I thought Cage was the worst part of the movie.  For such a comic fan, he sure seemed to not give a shit. 

  9. I blame Everything That’s Wrong With The World (ie Ghostrider 1) on Mark Steven Johnson. If they got a better director (which to be sure, is doubtful), it might be a decent-to-great movie. Give me a frenetic horror romp with a Raimi acolyte at the helm and I’d totally see it, Cage or no Cage.

  10. We are forgetting the important thing? Eva Mendes!

  11. If Nicolas Cage is in GR2 I would think about sneaking into a theatre to see it


    If Nicolas Cage is NOT in GR2 I would actually go see it and most likely pay for my ticket. 

  12. "Compare that to Iron Man 2, for which billboards all over the nation show nary a glimpse of star Robert Downey Jr. You don’t need the star to sell that movie, you just need the suit. "  This hurts my brain. The idea that RDJ isn’t responsible for most of IM1’s appeal is pretty ridiculous. Favreau made a nice-looking movie, full of witty dialogue (much of which was improvised by RDJ) and a stellar supporting cast, but Downey made that movie. If he were recast for any reason (say . . .  a relapse), I’d probably skip the next installment.

    That said, if Johnny Blaze were recast for any reason (say . . . Cage being preoccupied with his constant quest for a franchise), it wouldn’t change my interest in the slightest. I’m still coming to grips with the concept of Ghost Rider 1 being made, much less the frightening possibility of having to reference a Ghost Rider 2 in the future. I caught the first one on HBO when there was nothing else on, so I guess I’d give the second one the same chance to surprise me.

  13. I saw the first GR, and let me tell you, Nic Cage was one of the reasons i didn’t like it. He’s a decent actor just not for this. As for GR2 Less cage the better and like paul said if they went the hulk route i think it would be better all around.

  14. Oh and if they got Jason Aaron to help produce/script it, i would be very happy.

  15. Ghostrider was and still remains one of the most unintentionally funny movies i have ever seen in theaters. I would see a sequel in a heartbeat for more laughs

  16. @Roi has an excellent point. I should only whole-heartedly support movies that make Rifftrax such a darn excellent buy.

  17. Daniel Ketch…i’m just saying we don’t need a johnny blaze Nic Cage

  18. Reboot it and go grindhouse ala Jason Aaron’s run.

  19. holy crap. i won’t see a GR2 one way or another, the first one was a steaming pile of shitty shit. although i did like cowboy ghost rider (sam eliott, i think).

    but assuming that iron man was about the suit and not all those hilarious moments with RDjr being a brilliant stark is just plain crazy. seriously, if you were to put nic cage in the IM suit, there’s little chance i’d watch that in a theatre. 

  20. ugh

  21. @ottobot We didn’t even need snarky comments when my friends and I saw it in theaters. The movie makes fun of itself almost. Once we started laughing the whole theater turned against the movie. If you would have just recorded the audio of the crowd you would have thought a room full of people had just seen Ghostbusters for the first time.

  22. @Kenzaburo: many years ago– I want to say circa 1997?– Nic Cage was supposed to be Tony Stark. I can still remember the capital "UGH" I exhaled the first time I heard about. We dodged a torpedo.

  23. @Jimski Remember when Tom Cruise was going to produce and star in Iron Man? Jesus, that was a close one.

  24. @roi Oh come on! Scientology meets comics?  Recipe for greatness:p

  25. I’d see it if they got the guy who played the Human Torch. I hear he’s collecting super hero roles.

  26. I know Nic Cage is a comic fan but I really wish he’d stop making comic movies. Besides, he isn’t really a young enough actor for superhero parts. I still cringe when I think about him almost playing Superman.  How about that Chris Evans, is his schedule open to play Ghost Rider?  His head can handle CG fire.

  27. @WonderManFan  If they made the movie about Danny Ketch, Evans would actually be great. I’d go see it

  28. I think that Chris Evans should play every role in the Avengers movie including Scarlet Witch.

    Um, that sounded less creepy in my head.

  29. I would love to see this movie without Nic Cage. And with a different director.

    The point about selling Iron Man 2 with just the suit makes sense. Downy’s performance is DEFFENATELY a big reason why this movie works. But they only have to sell you on the suit this time around because you assume Downey is in it.

    And, just because Ghost Rider made 230 million doesn’t make it a great reason for Columbia to keep it. It would of the movie was well received. Any Ghost Rider movie won’t do well it’s opening weekend, because people will remember how bad this one was. If it’s good, it will do well in the long run.

  30. @Dom: Because the movie made $230 million (just in box office) is a fantastic reason for Columbia to keep the rights.

  31. @Paul: Are you suggesting a Ghost Rider film be like a ‘grindhouse’ production/homage? If so I am all for that, that would be perfect for the character!

    Ghost Rider was pretty bad. Actually the effects and the Ghost Rider mythos seemed to be handled perfectly. Just the acting….yeah anything with Nic Cage is just awful. (Continuing the bashing here!) If Marvel wants to continue the franchise, when they get the full rights back, I’m all for them trying it again. Just get some good actors and a decent story out. Cause again, the mythos was handled well but the overall story was lacking.

    Actually to give Cage some props, he wasn’t the worst actor in the film. That definitely belongs to either Wes Bently as Blackhart or Eve Mendes boobs….No wait, the latter were perfect! 🙂

  32. Has there been a financially successful grindhouse homage? I can’t think of any.

  33. Not having Nic Cage would be my reason for seeing GR2. No jelly beans.

  34. as a Ghost rider fan i am definitly torn on this subject.  1. if Marvel got the rights back, how long would it take them to make a Ghost Rider fiml?  i know it would be great but sence there are no books out currently i like the idea of getting another movie soon.  BUT… the last movie was lacking in every way except when Ghost Rider was standing there (he didn’t do much more than stand in a spot everytime he was on screen).  if a GR2 came out i would see it but i would be unhappy about it.  Marvel getting the rights back would be the best thing to happen to the GR franchise.

    on Nick Cage.  your a great guy and i loved raising Arizona and con Air, but you should move away from those action movies.  Johnny needs to be played by a younger acter (specialy if he is a stunt motercyclist). 

    So marvel should get rights back and hurry up and make a movie that is a little dark (at least a little bit) no Nick Cage.

  35. Movie opens with Cage and the new guy driving up to the edge of hell.

     Cage: ‘Sorry this is as far as I go,’

     New guy: ‘Whaaa????’

    Cage takes off, new guy gets eaten…Marvel gets the rights back… The end

  36. ‘Would you see Ghost Rider 2, even without Nicolas Cage?" I didn’t see the 1st Ghost Rider. No plans to see the second, especially if its a hastily made ‘grind out a POS so we can keep the rights’ sequel. Yay for capitilistic entertainment, the most wonderful mediocrity in the world!!!

  37. I guess the cool thing to say about Nic Cage and Ghost Rider geting a sequel is "Nooooo!" However, Nic Cage was not what was to be concenred about in that film. I saw it recently, and I don’t see what the hate is about. Dislike? Sure! Hate? Mmm, no.

  38. I don’t think its that big of a deal. The same guy is playing the Human Torch and Captain America. They’ll prob get someone else to play Daredevil when they reboot that series. They’re casting a new Spiderman, They’ve used different guys for Punisher and Batman. Superhero movies get interchanged actors all the time and they still work ok. 

    Its funny about Nick Cage and Ghost Rider. He was so Desperate to play a blue chip superhero. He attached himself to every major franchise, Superman, Batman etc etc. and it never worked for him. You’d think him being the big comics guy he’d want to hold onto the one character he was allowed to play.  

  39. I can’t stand to watch Nicolas Cage in anything that isn’t Leaving Las Vegas or the first thirty minutes of Face/Off.

    As it stands, I watched Ghost Rider on DVD at the behest of a friend. If they do Ghost Rider 2 without Cage, I’ll see it in the theatre just to show my support.

  40. I have yet to hear people say he was bad in Kick-ass and I heard he’s effectlively insane in that Bad Lietenant movie that should have never carried the name Bad Lieutenant.

  41. Man if this horrible movie can get a sequel can’t we get a second Daredevil movie (one where they get it right)?