It seems difficult to mess up a character like Ghost Rider. He's a motorcyclist with a flaming skull for a head, who hunts the guilty and makes them relive their crimes with his Penance Stare. He looks awesome, and his goals are pretty straightforward. And yet, somehow, the movie based on the comic book character was pretty universally awful. A lot of it had to do with the story, but the rest had to do with the cast: Eva Mendes was dull as the true love, Wes Bentley wasn't particularly intimidating as the evil demon, and Nicolas Cage's quirky stuntman actually overshadowed his skull-faced alter ego. So that may be why they're making another Ghost Rider movie without Cage. Wait, they can do that? Isn't Cage, like, a huge comic book fan? We can't imagine he's thrilled to have been booted from his own superhero franchise, but hopefully he'll have more success with The Sorceror's Apprentice. (Although they should probably avoid putting his huge face on the posters, which seems to be a common thread among his bombs.) In the meantime, we say remake more unsuccessful Nic Cage movies using a different actor. Everybody wins! Except for Nic Cage.
I think the Casting Gods are teasing me. First off, there's a rumor going around that Clint Eastwood might just sign on to play the mayor of Gotham City in the next Batman movie. And secondly, reports have surfaced that Nicolas Cage got cast in a movie that otherwise sounded like it would have been perfectly good. The two tidbits are such polar extremes they threaten to cancel each other out. My Nicolas Cage gag reflex hit me at about the same time as my Clint Eastwood WHOO! reflex, and I had to lie down for a second.
Being that this is a short work week, you'd think it would take more than hearing that Nicolas Cage is in talks with Marvel Studios to make a sequel to Ghost Rider to ruin my day. You'd think wrong. The trailer for the first movie was so bad that it alone soured me on Nicolas Cage, probably forever. And now they want to make another one? In a discussion with Dark Horizons, Cage said that he'd met with the studio three months ago and they discussed changing the setting completely. "The general idea was to take the character to Europe where he will work with the Catholic Church, deal with supernatural stuff on the continent and figure out a 'connection working with different religious figures.' The film's main antagonist has yet to be decided." Um, how about me?
It looks like Disney's purchase of Marvel Entertainment has lit a fire under Fox. After all, they own the film rights to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Silver Surfer and Daredevil for as long as they continue to make movies. So, now that it's been two years since the last FF movie, they're getting ready to reboot the franchise. Frankly, I'm glad. The first film was good, clean kiddie fun (except for the fact that Jessica Alba kept taking her clothes off), but the second was boring, had Mr. Fantastic stretch-dancing and managed to make Marvel's biggest (literally) villain look like a rain cloud. Fox wouldn't say what they're doing, or even if they hope to bring back the serviceable original cast, but I hope they announce reboots of the rest of their Marvel properties (and Sony's, while they're at it), because, frankly, they all need it.