When I first saw Ghost Rider, I was stuck on an eleven hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Sitting through the film made it feel like the flight took 6 days. Halfway through the film, I wanted to set Nicolas Cage's head on fire. By the time the film was over, I was hoping the plane would crash into the ocean. For something as crazy as a motorcycle stuntman with a flaming skull head who is actually the spirit of vengeance . . . that movie was just boring. It's a shame, too, since the property could be something special. It could never be Iron Man-big, but it could definitely make for a smaller, artier franchise.

As with most comic book origins, the background of Ghost Rider is convoluted, at best. By convoluted, I mean that it's like someone took every bad soap opera, biker movie, Satanic 70's film, and comic book, chopped them up into little Scrabble tiles, and withdrew a fistful of them to tell the story. It doesn't make any damned sense.

Columbia Pictures still has the rights to the character, but if they don't start production by November 14, 2010, the rights revert back to Disney/Marvel. Cage himself, however, will likely be busy in front of the camera to grace us with another National Treasure film. That begs the question - can a Ghost Rider movie get the green light without Cage's name attached? Would anyone else with any sort of clout be willing to mount the motorcycle and get this thing moving? Perhaps most importantly, does anyone care? They're currently running through a long list of directors, as well. My two cents? The film needs to be scary, dirty, and set in the 70's, when the character first sprang to life. I wonder who could pull off a vibe like that?

Read the details of New York Magazine's scoop here.
categories Movies, Horror