Comic-Con 2011: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE Panel Recap

     July 22, 2011

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Sony packed the house in Hall H today, and opening the panel was our first look at Neveldine/Taylor’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The sequel stars Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, and James Remar. While some may be a bit skeptical of the sequel, let me assure that this is a very different movie. Seriously, this panel was a bit insane: at the end of the trailer Ghost Rider literally pissed fire. Hit the jump for my recap of the panel, which included our first look at footage from the film in 3D as well as a featurette showcasing the death-defying nature of Neveldine/Taylor’s directing style.

Moderator Ralph Garman kicked things off with a pretty kickass featurette showcasing Neveldine/Taylor’s directing styles. It was pretty insane, as it showed that the directors operate the camera themselves most of the time, following motorcycles on rollerblades, hanging off wires, and jumping off buildings. At one point the frame freezed on an actor and camera operator hanging over a cliff, pointing out that the actor was a stuntman and the camera operator was the director. We saw a small bit of pre-production footage and shooting, then the reel ended with: “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Fucking Your Shit Up in 3D February 2012.”

The directors then came out with Jeffrey Whitworth, Idris Elba, and Nicolas Cage. After briefly explaining how visceral the film will be (the directors said “you will see real bones breaking in Ghost Rider, not CG bones), they rolled some footage.

What we saw was basically a trailer, and “fucking your shit up” is in no way a misleading headline. This thing was brutal. Ghost Rider in flaming form was super dark, and kind of crazy, and the stunts were fairly insane. This is definitely an extreme version of Ghost Rider (he literally pisses fire), and fans looking for some brutality in the character will be happy.

Cage said he was happy to actually play Ghost Rider in flaming form this time, saying he didn’t get the chance to do that on the last film. He also said he was happy to come back for a sequel because he felt he had more to say about the character. Speaking about differences between the sequel and the first film, he said he’s been living with his head on fire for several years so he’s a bit more acclimated to that aspect of his character.

Taylor described the character as “pure nightmare,” saying “there’s no logic to it at all. He’s not a superhero, he’s more like a horror character.” Going even further, he explained that his power is he sucks out your soul. That’s the Ghost Rider’s superpower.”

Whitworth talked about how Neveldine/Taylor’s style is rather extreme, and the camera was always in his face, but their stunt filming was crazy. The directors also explained that they changed the Hell Cycle up a bit, saying that anything Ghost Rider rides transforms into a hell-vehicle.

When asked if they saw any more Ghost Rider films in the future Neveldine replied that there’s nothing that would be more fun than doing it again.

Elba’s character is a French wine-drinking motorcycle-driving warrior monk. He was also asked if there were any other superhero characters he may or may not be pursuing, to which he replied in a deep voice, “Luke Cage.” He said he’d definitely love to play the character, and they just need to know that people want to see it happen.

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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