Exclusive: Director Brian Taylor on GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE; Clarifies Nicolas Cage’s Role; Filming Begins November 2

     October 28, 2010

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Recently a tweet regarding the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance popped up and has since caused some confusion amongst the internet faithful. The tweet was in regards to Nicolas Cage’s role in the film, and caused many a website to speculate that the actor would be portraying both the hero and the villain in the follow up to Mark Steven Johnson’s 2007 film.

To set things straight we contacted the source himself – co-director Brian Taylor (Crank). According to the filmmaker, who is directing the sequel along with Mark Neveldine, Nicolas Cage will indeed be playing two roles, but not the villain as previously thought. Instead, Cage will play both Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider in the film. This contrasts with the original Ghost Rider where Cage played Blaze, but left his demonic alter-ego with the stunt team and special FX guys. While this news debunks the Nic Cage good guy/bad guy dual role, it does justify the tweet which foresaw a Nic Cage classic in the making. More after the jump.

In regards to the tweet, which said:

The dual role of blaze/zarathos will be a nic cage classic

Taylor had this to say:

zarathos is the spirit of vengeance that inhabits john blaze when he becomes ghost rider.  unlike the 1st movie, where the rider was stiffly acted out by a various stunt guys, nic will be playing all the ghost rider stuff himself – and we are creating a whole physical language for the demon that is different from the human blaze.

While the original Ghost Rider proved to be a ho hum affair with a more-than-appropriate Nicolas Cage stealing the film from his clunky visual FX manifested alter ego, one can’t help but get excited with the direction Taylor and Neveldine are taking the sequel.

By allowing Cage to act out both roles and creating “a whole physical language for the demon,” it’s reasonable to assume the actor will bring the same fiery personality he exhibited in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (which was great), and give the Ghost Rider, who was something of a stiff in the original, a much needed personality. Cage is no stranger to duo personalities, after all, having starred in the Spike Jonze flick Adaptation where he played multiple versions of himself throughout.

The directing duo of Taylor and Neveldine, meanwhile, know how to channel raw energy, having directed both Crank and Crank: High Voltage with gusto, and an appropriate amount of testosterone to boot. They know how to make an actioner, and with a budget that is reportedly north of $70 million, and a shooting schedule set to commence in November and last into February, this will be their biggest film to date. Whether they can pull this off remains to be seen, but they’re already headed in the right direction.

Here’s the synopsis for the film:

Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage), is hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil, who wants to take over his mortal son’s body on the boy’s birthday.

As of now the cast includes Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba and Violante Placido.  Hinds will be playing the role of the devil, while Placido will play the boy’s mother.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will hit theaters on February 17, 2012.

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