'Ghost Rider' Sequel: Nicolas Cage Will 'Feel The Heat'

It’s no secret that longtime fans of the character were somewhat disappointed by the 2007 “Ghost Rider” film starring Nicolas Cage, and were keeping their expectations in check for the upcoming sequel, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” But after the explosive footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 this past weekend, fans of old Flamehead are finding reason to get excited.

Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the Ghost Rider was once motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze, who made a deal with the devil to save his mentor and father figure. Unfortunately, like most deals with the devil, things went awry, as Blaze was transformed into the demonic entity known as the Ghost Rider. The character, created in 1972, combined two separate 70s-era fads: Evel Knievel style daredevils and the occult.

Like the first “Ghost Rider” movie, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” will star Nicolas Cage, who despite the mixed reception of the first film, remains a committed fan of the character.

“The Ghost Rider is just the coolest looking superhero, and it has to be the one that goes to film and looks the best,” the actor explained. “I think they’ve achieved that with this.”

With Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine of the stylized action movies “Crank,” “Crank: High Voltage” and “Gamer” helming the project, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” is sure to have a look that is distinct from the first film, with even the eponymous hero getting a darker, edgier makeover.

“We wanted this black skull, with this gasoline fire and this black, inky smoke to get this real feeling of explosions and fire and heat,” Neveldine said. “That’s something we really went for: ‘Let’s feel the heat in this movie.’”

But a superhero movie is nothing without an awesome villain to oppose the hero, and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengenace” has that base covered with Johnny Whitworth’s Blackout.

“We’re both kind of tainted,” Cage said of the supernatural villain. “We’re both working with dark forces that aren’t always entirely good, but he’s a little bit more left-of-center.”

What do you think about the new, darker direction of the “Ghost Rider” series, and the involvement of the team behind the “Crank” movies? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!