It's Oscar weekend, which means the culmination of months and months of fevered speculation and whatnot. While The Artist is the subject of Awards Season discussions, four new releases hit nationwide theaters on Friday, and according to estimates, Relativity Media's military actioner Act of Valor won the weekend by a sizable margin. One of the other new releases performed within expectations in second place, while the other two disappointed in eighth and ninth.
Opening in theaters on February 17th is the long awaited sequel to 2007's Ghost Rider entitled Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which is based on the popular Marvel Comics antihero. The new film is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank), and once again stars Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) as Johnny Blaze, as well as the role of Ghost Rider, which was portrayed by a stunt actor in the previous film. Besides Cage, the film features a cast of actors who are all new to the Ghost Rider franchise including Idris Elba (Thor, The Losers), Ciaran Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Violante Placido (The American), Christopher Lambert (Highlander), newcomer Fergus Riordan, and Johnny Whitworth (3:10 to Yuma) as the villain Blackout.
IAR's very own Heather Newgen recently had a chance to sit down and speak with both Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth about their work on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The talented actors discussed the new film, their different roles, Elba's original character's connection to the Marvel universe; and why he is attracted to comic book adapted material, Whitworth's dual role; and how the actor was able to portray such a dark character, the directors unusual filmmaking techniques, and hot monks.
Directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, otherwise known as Neveldine/Taylor, made a name for themselves in 2006 when they released the adrenaline-pumping, low-budget action movie Crank. The stylized action and punk rock tone of Crank, its follow up Crank: High Voltage and their more recent Gamer have earned Neveldine and Taylor a cult following. The two have also earned a reputation for their daredevil approach to filmmaking, often shooting the camera while on rollerblades or hanging from wires. Now Neveldine and Taylor return to the big screen with a reboot of the Ghost Rider franchise entitled Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which opens in 3D and 2D theaters on Friday, February 17th.
Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) reprises his role as Johnny Blaze in a much darker and grittier vision of the Marvel Comics antihero than its 2007 predecessor. This time Cage also plays the Ghost Rider character, whereas in the earlier film that character was played by stuntmen. The film focuses on Johnny Blaze, who is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter. Blaze is lying low in Eastern Europe when Moreau (Idris Elba), the leader of a group of rebel monks, approaches him and promises to help Johnny rid his curse if he, in return, helps protect a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). What follows is a high-octane, explosive, roller coaster ride of intense action.
I recently had a chance to sit down and chat with directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The directors discuss their new film, the iconic Marvel antihero, Nic Cage’s brilliance, their brand, the proper way to use the “F word,” the film’s missing sex scene, utilizing the characters in the Marvel universe, making people puke, a secret sock puppets movie, an action-packed remake of Debbie Does Dallas, Crank 3 in 3D, and the real reason why they dropped out as the directors on Jonah Hex.
Opening in theaters on February 17th is the long awaited sequel to 2007's Ghost Rider entitled Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which is based on the popular Marvel Comics antihero. The new film is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank), and once again stars Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) as Johnny Blaze, as well as the role of Ghost Rider, which was portrayed by a stunt actor in the previous film. Besides Cage, the film features a cast of actors who are all new to the Ghost Rider franchise including recent Golden Globe winner Idris Elba (BBC's Luther), Ciaran Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Violante Placido (The American), Christopher Lambert (Highlander), newcomer Fergus Riordan, and Johnny Whitworth (3:10 to Yuma) as the villain Blackout.
IAR's very own Heather Newgen recently had a chance to "Get In The Cage" with Nicolas Cage himself to discuss Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The Oscar winning actor talked about the new movie, his iconic character, why it was important for him to play both roles this time around, the challenges of embodying a character that is undead, his different look and voice for the sequel, why it takes place in Europe several years after its predecessor, cobras, and the directors willingness to "risk their lives to entertain you!"
A recurring feature on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update newsdesk under head writer Seth Meyers is "Get In the Cage." The occasional bit pairs a fictionalized Nicolas Cage, played by SNL regular Andy Samberg, with recognizable stars to discuss Cage's acting style and his ambition to appear in every movie ever made. Having appeared with the likes of Bradley Cooper, Jude Law, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Samberg's Cage has finally met his perfect match: Nicolas Cage.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is just a bit more than a week from its 3D theatrical debut here in the states, and in anticipation of the Marvel character's second cinematic outing, a new official clip has landed online. Contrary to what you might expect from a Ghost Rider sequel directed by Neveldine/Taylor, the clip is a quiet dialogue scene of nuanced and observant character interaction focusing on one man haunted by his unforgivable past.
With just three weeks until the sequel actually arrives in theaters, a big haul of images from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance have appeared online. There are over seventy-five total, so we're just providing a sampling here, but even so, the stills give a sense of how different the film will be from its predecessor, 2007's Ghost Rider.
At the San Diego Comic-Con panel for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance way back in July of last year, the highlight wasn't actually the first presentation of the sequel's trailer, it was a brief two-and-a-half minute behind the scenes featurette. Now, with less than a month to go for before the film's release, that featurette has emerged online so that you can take a peek even if you didn't make the annual pilgrimage to Southern California.
Earlier this week we saw a new official one sheet for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and now, in time honored fashion, a full theatrical trailer has followed in that poster's flaming footsteps. Based on this trailer, the sequel to Mark Steven Johnson's Ghost Rider would seem to be focused squarely on ridiculous action, just as you'd expect from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the aggro-duo behind both Crank movies and Gamer. The trailer also gives our first idea of the Spirit of Vengeance storyline, such as it is, which finds Nicolas Cage's Johnny Blaze playing the hero in order to protect a young boy from becoming the human vessel for the Anti-Christ.
Last month, perhaps in order to get into the Thanksgiving spirit, Sony Pictures unveiled four aggressively stylized pieces of poster artwork for the upcoming semi-rebooted sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Refresh your memory by taking a gander at those here and here. Now, though, the studio has rolled out (no pun intended, I swear) a more conventional one sheet, one that features everything you'd expect out of a Ghost Rider poster. Namely, a leather outfit, a charred-up motorbike spitting hot fire from its wheels, and, of course, a flaming skull. There's also a swinging chain serving to visually illustrate that Spirit of Vengeance is in 3D, as well as the words "Nicolas" and "Cage," serving to remind us that Nicolas Cage once again plays Johnny Blaze.