Variety is reporting that Columbia Pictures is gearing up to get Ghost Rider 2 in theaters, pushing for Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer to script the sequel to the 2007 Nicholas Cage-starring film. Speaking of Cage, he is expected (but not confirmed) to return for the sequel, having already proclaimed his desire to do so.
Though Goyer has yet to sign-on officially, word is that the next Ghost Rider will be based on a script that Goyer wrote years ago for the character. Details are sketchy on what that script involves, or whether or not Ghost Rider 2 will be an actual sequel to the 2007 film, or more akin to the quasi-reboot Cage described earlier this year. Ghost Rider 2 will be produced by former Marvel head Avi Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul, with Gary Foster serving as executive producer.
As Variety points out, it's no real surprise to hear that Ghost Rider 2 is trying to "rev itself" into production; every third-party studio which currently owns a Marvel property is thinking along those same lines, now that Disney has partnered with Marvel. The studios know that if they don't show any signs of forward progress on their owned properties, Disney/Marvel will have the right to reclaim them and develop them under their own banner, laughing all the while as the box office cash comes rolling in (See: Iron Man).
That dreaded fear has prompted the major studios to you-know-what rather than get off the pot, and currently in development alongside Ghost Rider 2 are:
- FOX: Fantastic Four Reboot, Daredevil Reboot, Wolverine 2, X-Men 4, New Mutants, X-Men: First Class & X-Men Origins: Magneto.
- SONY: Spider-Man 4 (and 5)
- UNIVERSAL: Namor The Sub-Mariner,
- PARAMOUNT: Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America
For my money, I would love to see Ghost Rider 2 be more in the vein of the Marvel "Midnight Sons" sub-genre of the 90s (see above), which saw the likes of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Blade, The Nightstalkers, The Darkhold Redeemers, Dr. Strange and Morbius banding together to battle the supernatural elements of the Marvel Universe. Midnight Sons were not your little brother's comic books, and I've always thought that a film like Ghost Rider should straddle that same line between superhero and horror flick (maybe leaning just a bit more toward the horror side).
Again, Ghost Rider 2 is still in the early planning stages; no confirmation that Goyer will write it or that Cage will star in it. No word yet if Ghost Rider writer/director Mark Steven Johnson will be brought back, or if (please, please, please) the studio will tap a new director to helm the sequel.
We'll keep you posted.