Previous comments from "Ghost Rider" star Nicolas Cage and the sequel's screenwriter David Goyer have shed some light on where the franchise is heading for its second installment, and now producer Mike De Luca is chiming in on the conversation.
In an interview with Collider, De Luca confirmed several previously known aspects about the upcoming "Ghost Rider" sequel — which is currently being referred to as "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" — such as the film's European setting and the targeting of a hard PG-13 rating.
But De Luca also revealed some new information, including the fact that actress Eva Mendes and director Mark Steven Johnson are not a part of the sequel's plans. In fact, it's possible that the director job could wind up in Goyer's own hands.
"I've talked about it with him just because I'm a fan of David's," said De Luca. "A lot depends on his schedule and a lot depends on where we are when the script comes in, but I think just for me personally, this is just me speaking not Avi Arad or the studios, I have tremendous respect for David, I always have."
The major obstacle in Goyer taking the reins on "Ghost Rider" is his role as the showrunner of ABC's "FlashForward." Given that unpredictable schedule, Goyer is not a lock for the job, and the director position remains open.
"I want to keep it, and he knows this too, we want to keep it open for the right person to present themselves and if that could be David or it might be someone else, but I think we'll know more after we read the draft," said the producer.
In terms of the story, De Luca said that the new "Ghost Rider" movie is hitting the reset button — in other words, the previous film won't have much bearing on the sequel.
"It's one of those characters that's almost like a blank slate," he said. "Even the rules of it and his powers and the way in some runs of the comic, the bike is a physical thing that gets turned into a hell cycle. In some versions of the comic he shoots the hell cycle out of his hands and there's no real bike at all. You know, there's just little differences as each artist and writer tackled the character that kind of frees us to be different with this next movie, but it is pushing the reset button, and I think putting the character in kind of an appropriate darker context."
Although the first revision of Goyer's old script isn't quite finished, De Luca still believes that "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" could start production in 2010.
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