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Look out for more coverage of
Ghost Rider in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Ghost Rider

THE STARS:
Nicolas Cage • Eva Mendes • Peter Fonda
DIRECTOR: Mark Steven Johnson

Johnny Blaze (Cage) - night and day… THE CONCEPT:
Based on the popular Marvel Comic, Johnny Blaze (Cage) is a superstar motorcycle stunt rider who makes a deal with the devil (Fonda) to protect his father. Now the devil has come for his due. By day, Johnny is a die-hard stunt rider, but at night in the presence of evil, he becomes Ghost Rider, a bounty hunter of rogue demons.

U.S. RELEASE: February 16 2007, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

AVI ARAD (Producer):
“This character started for me many years ago when Victor Kaufman, who ran Columbia Pictures, saw me in a Ghost Rider jacket and said, ‘That character looks amazing, how much is this jacket?’ And at the time I thought it was about $50 million. He said, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Yeah, you have to make the movie if you want the jacket.’ Years later [with different producers] we decided to make it a PG-13 movie, and it was a big advantage to have a writer/director like Mark who is a giant fan, who wouldn’t write it just to take it out of the R, but find a PG tone, because the story itself has no reason not to be accessible to all.”

NICOLAS CAGE:
“When you look at Ghost Rider you see a comic book story structure that digs a little deeper. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s coming from classic themes like Beauty and the Beast or Faust. It’s fascinating to take those story structures and reintroduce people to it in a pop art, contemporary manner.”

EVA MENDES (Roxanne):
“Obviously I did my research and looked at the comic book, and I loved it. I love the idea of selling your soul to the devil because I kind of feel like I do it a little everyday in this business. I sat down with Mark and said, ‘I don’t want Roxanne to be the girl, I want her to have a real struggle, and he promised me it was going to be there.”

MARK STEVEN JOHNSON:
“We put up the [flaming] skull on the Internet a year and a half ago, at its earliest stage, and everybody thought it looked fake. That’s our lead character, if he doesn’t look good we’re sunk. There’s so much negativity to the Internet for a film-maker, but the great thing is I go on some of the comic book sites and you read about what people say and sometimes they’re right. So the hardest thing was to get that skull and the CGI fire to look right.”

CAGE:
“They grafted my skull so I guess it’s me, which is kind of wild. But what I really love about this character is that we’re all him. We all have human skulls, and yet we look at it and we go, ‘That’s scary.’ And then after a little while we go, ‘Wait a minute, that’s beautiful.” He’s human and he’s a total bad ass. He’s fighting the dark forces, but he’s human – it’s pretty neat.”

JOHNSTON:
“We just started talking about a sequel, but you don’t want to jinx it, you don’t know whether people are going to go or if they are going to like it. It’s not a slam-dunk character, it’s not as well known as the other [Marvel] characters.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Ghost Rider site
Images above © Columbia Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #680, March 2007 cover

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