While Nicolas Cage was fun as Johnny Blaze the movies themselves left a lot to be desired, so here's why Ghost Rider 3 will never happen. Comic book movies were in a different place back in 2007 when the original Ghost Rider was released. The movie was a big budget, PG-13 adventure based around a character who transforms into a demon with a flaming skull, meaning an R-rating probably would have been a better fit. A terrible wig aside, Cage received good reviews for his lead performance but the story, lame villain and terrible CGI led to Ghost Rider being roundly panned.
Ghost Rider was a financial success, however, so a sequel was greenlit. The next year saw the release of game-changers Iron Man and The Dark Knight, indicating the genre was undergoing a dramatic shift. There were early signs Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance would be an improvement on the maligned original; Crank co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were at the helm, the film was said to be a soft reboot and the supporting cast including Idris Elba and Christopher Lambert (Highlander). While Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance was better and contained a couple of fun action scenes, it was still a mediocre comic book movie.
Ghost Rider 3 was once discussed but here’s why the movie will never happen now.
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance Was A Box-Office Disappointment
While Ghost Rider performed well, the movie’s poor critical reception couldn’t be ignored. Sony saw the value of making a follow-up with the character but not necessarily in the same style as the original. Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance was given a lower budget and Johnny Blaze’s origin is slightly retconned to imply the original movie didn’t happen. Neveldine and Taylor brought their trademark kinetic style to the sequel, but the threadbare story and one-note characters did little to impress.
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance was a modest success but also grossed significantly less than its predecessor too. By 2013 Cage effectively ruled out returning for Ghost Rider 3 and in the years since has lamented the studio wasn’t brave enough to make an R-rated movie with the character, especially in light of Deadpool’s success. The co-directors of Spirit Of Vengeance also regret the film not being a darker, bloodier affair that took advantage of the character’s horror roots.
The Rights To Ghost Rider Reverted Back To Marvel
Following the lukewarm performance of Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance and Nic Cage’s open disinterest in returning, Ghost Rider 3 was canceled. The rights to the character reverted back to Marvel in 2013 and Ghost Rider, in the form of Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna), appeared during season 4 of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel also appear to have little interest in making a Ghost Rider movie and even if they did, it’s extremely unlikely they would revive the Nic Cage era.
Not only has Cage himself ruled out a return, but the Ghost Rider films themselves also have a weak reputation among fans. An R-rated Ghost Rider 3 will Nic Cage sounds like it could be a blast, but sadly, it feels like the original movie arrived too early, with the PG-13 rating watering down his appeal. There’s a chance he could be redeemed on the big screen in the future but it definitely won’t in Ghost Rider 3.