- Ghost Rider (film)
name = Ghost Rider
caption = Theatrical release poster
Mark Steven Johnson
Avi Arad Stan Lee David S. Goyer
Mark Steven Johnson
Nicolas Cage Eva Mendes Brett Cullen
Columbia Pictures Marvel Enterprises
February 16, 2007
runtime = Theatrical Cut:
United States Australia
language = English
budget = $110 million
gross = $228,738,393
website = http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/ghostrider
amg_id = 1:291033
imdb_id = 0259324
"Ghost Rider" is a 2007
superhero filmbased on the fictional Marvel Comicscharacter of the same name. The film is directed by Mark Steven Johnsonand stars Nicolas Cageas Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider.
This film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "horror violence and disturbing images".
In the days of the
American Old West, Mephistopheles ( Peter Fonda) sent his bounty hunterof the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because such a large amount of souls would cause if taken on by one demon, the Rider refused to give the contract — and therefore, the souls — to Mephistopheles; instead, he outran Mephistopheles and hid himself and the contract.
A century and a half later, Mephistopheles reaches out to seventeen-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze (
Matt Long/ Nicolas Cage), offering to cure his father's lung cancerin exchange for Johnny's soul. Johnny inadvertently signs the contract when a drop of his blood lands on it. His father's cancer is cured, but he dies that same day in a horrific bike crash. Johnny accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father's death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract fulfilled. Years later, Johnny has become a stunt rider famous for walking away from crashes unharmed.
Before a particularly dangerous new stunt, Johnny meets his childhood sweetheart Roxanne (
Raquel Alessi/ Eva Mendes), now a journalist, and holds a dinner date with her that evening. At the same time, Blackheart( Wes Bentley), Mephistopheles' son, comes to Earth to find the lost contract and use its power to overcome his father. He calls forth the fallen angels known as the Hidden, a trio of demon spirits who represent three of the four elements — the water elemental Wallow (Daniel Frederiksen), the earth elemental Gressil(Laurence Breuls), and the air elemental Abigor (Mathew Wilkinson) — to act as his allies. In response, Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider, offering Johnny his soul in return for defeating Blackheart. Johnny confronts Blackheart at a train station where the contract was once buried, and kills Gressil while the others escape. On his way out, he uses his 'Penance Stare', a supernatural ability which sears the pain of all whom a person has harmed into the wrongdoer's soul, on a mugger, leaving the man catatonic.
The next day, Johnny wakes up in a cemetery chapel, where he meets a man called the Caretaker (
Sam Elliott), who seems to know all the history of the Ghost Rider. When he arrives home, Johnny finds Roxanne and tries to explain his situation, which is why he missed their date. She leaves in anger and disbelief at his tale. The police arrive and take Johnny into custody for his connection to the damage done to the city and the deaths caused by Blackheart. He transforms into Ghost Rider in the cell and escapes to track down Blackheart. He fights and kills Abigor, in full view of Roxanne and much of the police force. Observing the scene after obtaining the location of the contract, Blackheart realizes that Roxanne is Johnny's weakness.
Johnny goes for advice to the Caretaker, who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger who was a man of honor before his greed placed him before the gallows for his misdeeds. Slade made a deal with Mephistopheles to break free; in return, Slade became the Ghost Rider who hid the contract of San Venganza. The Caretaker then warns Johnny to stay away from those whom Blackheart and the fallen angels can use against him. This advice is too late; Johnny returns home to find that Blackheart already has Roxanne. During their resulting fight, Johnny finds that his Penance Stare has no effect on Blackheart, who has no (human) soul. Blackheart threatens to kill Roxanne if Johnny does not deliver the contract to him.
Johnny returns to the Caretaker to obtain the contract. Though reminded of the consequences, Johnny asks the Caretaker to trust him. The Caretaker then reveals that he is Carter Slade, having held on to his last bit of power in expectation of this moment. He informs Johnny that God is on his side because he made his deal with Mephistopheles because of love rather than greed or desperation, and shows Johnny the way to San Venganza. They ride together into the desert in Ghost Rider form. They stop a short distance from the town, and Slade gives Johnny his shotgun and the warning to "stick to the shadows" before fading away.
After killing Wallow, the last of the Hidden, Johnny gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn comes and he is rendered powerless. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the 1,000 souls into his body, taking the name "Legion." Legion is now more than a match for Johnny, but is distracted when Roxanne uses Johnny's discarded shotgun to separate them. After she fruitlessly fires off its remaining ammunition, Johnny takes the gun and moves it into the shadows. This allows him to create a "hellfire shotgun" to blast Legion apart. Legion reforms, but Johnny moves in and uses his Penance Stare, made effective by the thousand souls inhabiting Legion's body, to render him catatonic. Johnny turns away from Roxanne, ashamed of his monstrous appearance, but she shows him that she is not afraid of what Johnny has become.
Mephistopheles appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to take back the curse of the Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against Mephistopheles, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: "You can't live in fear." Mephistopheles then disappears, taking Blackheart's body with him. Johnny and Roxanne share some parting words at the tree on which Johnny carved "J&R FOREVER" at the beginning of the film. Roxanne then tells Johnny that he got his second chance before sharing a final kiss with him. Johnny then rides away on his motorcycle, now a legend in his own right. The film concludes with a rendition of the song "".
In May 2000 at the
Cannes Film Festival, Marvel Comicsannounced an agreement with Crystal Sky Entertainment to film "Ghost Rider" with actor Jon Voightattached as a producer. Production was scheduled to start in early 2001 with a budget of $75 million, with actor Johnny Deppexpressing interest in the lead role. [cite news | author=Michael Sangiacomo | url= | title=More Marvel heroes to join X-Men on film over next few years | publisher= The Star-Ledger| date= 2000-05-25| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] The following August, Dimension Filmsjoined Crystal Sky to co-finance the film, which would be written by David S. Goyerand directed by Stephen Norrington. [cite news | author=Michael Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117785776.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Ghost' adds a Dimension | publisher=Variety | date= 2000-08-30| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] In June 2001, actor Nicolas Cageentered talks to be cast into the lead role for "Ghost Rider", [cite news | author= | url= | title=Cage considers 'Ghost Rider' role | publisher= Erie Times-News| date= 2001-06-28| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] and by July, had closed a deal with the studio. According to producer Steven Paul, Cage had found out about Depp being a possibility for the role and contacted the director to express his own interest, being an avid Ghost Rider fan. [cite news | author=Julia Brinksneader | url= | title=Another 'ER' casualty | publisher= The Columbus Dispatch| date= 2001-07-31| accessdate=2006-12-22 ]
In the following August, Norrington abandoned the project due to a scheduling conflict, leaving to film the action flick "Tick Tock" starring
Jennifer Lopez. [cite news | author=James Berkshire | url= | title=Cage GHOST RIDER Burning Out? | publisher=Cinescape | date= 2001-08-20| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] Cage eventually left the project as well. By May 2002, the studio Columbia Picturessought to acquire rights to the film in turnaround from Dimension Films following the success of "Spider-Man". [cite news | author= | url= | title=`Ghost Rider' could follow Spidey film | publisher= Milwaukee Journal Sentinel| date= 2002-05-24| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] In April 2003, under Columbia Pictures, director Mark Steven Johnsontook over the helm for "Ghost Rider" with Cage returning for the lead role. Both had been drawn by a script written by screenwriter Shane Salerno. Johnson, rewriting Salerno's script, was set to begin production of "Ghost Rider" in late 2003 or early 2004. [cite news | author=Dana Harris | url=http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=story&articleid=VR1117884327&categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Johnson sees 'Ghost' | publisher=Variety | date= 2003-04-08| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] With production delayed into October 2003, Cage took a temporary leave of absence to film " The Weather Man". "Ghost Rider" production was slated to tentatively begin in May or June 2004. [cite news | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=287 | title=When May "Ghost Rider" Start Shooting? | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2003-10-19| accessdate=2006-12-22 ]
"Ghost Rider" had again been delayed to begin in late 2004, but the lack of a workable script continued to delay production. [cite news | author=Angela Dawson | url= | title=Nicolas Cage likes to hunt for treasure | publisher=
The Cincinnati Post| date= 2004-11-18| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] In January 2005, actor Wes Bentleywas cast as the villain Blackheart, having been introduced to Johnson by Colin Farrell, who had worked with the director in "Daredevil". [cite news | author=Michael Fleming | coauthors=Nicole Laporte | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117916685.html?categoryid=1238&cs=1 | title=Bentley to haunt 'Ghost' | publisher=Variety | date= 2005-01-20| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] Actress Eva Mendeswas also cast opposite Cage as Roxanne Simpson. [cite news | author=Pamela McClintock | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117918741.html?categoryid=1350&cs=1 | title=Marvel to prime pupils | publisher=Variety | date= 2005-03-01| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] On February 14, 2005, "Ghost Rider" commenced filming in Australia at the Melbourne Docklands film studios. [cite news | author= | url=http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/02/13/1108229854265.html | title=More than a name | publisher= The Age| date= 2005-02-14| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] Then in March 2005, actor Peter Fonda(who starred in " Easy Rider") was cast as the villain Mephistopheles. [cite news | author=Colin Covert | url= | title=The bounce - who's up - who's down | publisher= Star Tribune| date= 2005-03-11| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] Johnson originally planned to film before an audience at the Telstra Dome, but instead opted to create a crowd using computer-generated imagery. [cite news | author=Clint Morris | url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/5161.html | title=Ghost Rider skips Dome | publisher=Moviehole.net | date= 2005-03-03| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] The director also chose to film in the motorcycle district of Melbourne. [cite news | author=Karl Quinn | url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/Film/Foreign-film-upturn-a-tale-of-two-cities/2005/03/05/1109958155904.html | title=Foreign film upturn a tale of two cities | publisher= The Age| date= 2005-03-06| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] By June 2005, principal photography had been completed for "Ghost Rider", [cite news | author= | url= | title='Time Share' comedy | publisher= Long Beach Press-Telegram| date= 2005-06-13| accessdate= ] which was set for a summer 2006 release. [cite news | author=Mike Musgrove | url= | title=Marvel, DC Duel At the Box Office | publisher= The Washington Post| date= 2005-06-25| accessdate=2006-12-22 ] In December 2005, musical composer Christopher Youngwas announced to score "Ghost Rider". In addition, Spiderbait, a band that Johnson befriended during filming in Australia,cite news | author=Mark Steven Johnson | url=http://www.superherohype.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7409428&postcount=36 | title=Ask MSJ Part 3 | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-12-15| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] performed a cover of "" for the end credits. [cite web
title = Soundtracks for Ghost Rider
work = Internet Movie Database
url = http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259324/soundtrack
accessdate = 2008-05-10] In April 2006, the cast and crew performed last-minute reshoots in
Vancouver. [cite news | author= | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=4083 | title="Ghost Rider" Reshoots in Vancouver | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2006-04-13| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] "Ghost Rider" was originally scheduled to release on August 4, 2006, [cite news | author= | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/punishernews.php?id=3027 | title=Marvel Studios' Avi Arad on Upcoming Projects | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-05-18| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] but the date was moved three weeks earlier to July 14, 2006. [cite news | author= | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3455 | title="Ghost Rider" Moved Up to July | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-09-05| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] Sony changed the film's release date once more to February 16, 2007to help relieve the studio's crowded 2006 calendar. [cite news | first=Nicole | last=Laporte | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117934651?categoryid=1350&cs=1 | title=Sony cycles Cage starrer to 2007 | publisher=Variety | date= 2005-12-14| accessdate=2006-07-30 ]
Instead of a "hard drinking and smoking bad ass" Johnny Blaze, Nicolas Cage decided to give him more depth. "I'm playing him more as someone who... made this deal and he's trying to avoid confronting it, anything he can do to keep it away from him". Cage also explained that Blaze's stunt riding was a form of escape and a way to keep him connected to his deceased father, who taught him to ride. Cage rode a Buell motorcycle for Blaze's stunt cycle, and a heavily customized hardtail chopper named "Grace" which transforms into the "Hell Cycle". [cite news | author=Andrew Weil | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/featuresnews.php?id=3153 | title=SET VISIT: Nicolas Cage on "Ghost Rider"! | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=
2005-06-16| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] The Hell Cycle's wheels, made of pure flames in the comics, were changed to be solid tires covered in flames in order to give the motorcycle more weight onscreen.cite news | author=Scott Chitwood | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/featuresnews.php?id=3304 | title= The "Ghost Rider" Panel at Comic-Con | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-07-17| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
skullflames were designed to become smaller and blueto display any emotionother than rage. The film's visual effects supervisor, Kevin Mack, and the visual effects team at Sony Pictures Imageworkshandled the difficult task of creating computer-generated fire on a shot-by-shot basis. Ghost Rider's voice was manipulated by sound designer Dane Davis, who won an Academy Award for Sound Editingfor " The Matrix". Davis filtered Cage's line readings through three different kinds of animal growls that were played backwards and covered separate frequencies. Davis then amplified the dialogue through a mechanical volumizer. Director Johnson described the sound as a "deep, demonic, mechanical lion's roar". [cite news | author= | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3374 | title=Mark Steven Johnson on "Ghost Rider"! | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-08-07| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
In May 2005, Sony Pictures launched the official website for "Ghost Rider". [cite news | author=Sony Pictures | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3033 | title="Ghost Rider" Site Online | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=
2005-05-19| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
The following July, the studio presented a "Ghost Rider" panel at
Comic-Con Internationaland screened a teaser for the audience. The teaser, which did not have finalized footage of the film, eventually leaked online. [cite news | author=Sony Pictures | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3347 | title=Sony Statement on the "Ghost Rider" Footage | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-07-29| accessdate=2007-01-29 ] In the same month, Majesco Entertainment Company announced its deal with Marvel to acquire worldwide rights to produce the video game "Ghost Rider" for the PS2, PSP, and Game Boy Advanceconsoles. [cite news | author=Majesco Entertainment Company | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3277 | title= Majesco Creating "Ghost Rider" Movie Game | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2005-07-13| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
In December 2005, the studio presented a first glimpse of Ghost Rider in a 10-second footage piece on the official site. [cite news | author=Columbia Pictures | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3711 | title=The "Ghost Rider" Revealed! | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=
2005-12-20| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
In April 2006, Sideshow Collectibles announced the sale of a Ghost Rider
maquettebased on the concept art of the film. [cite news | author=Sideshow Collectibles | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=4144 | title=Exclusive Look at Sideshow's "Ghost Rider" Maquette! | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2006-04-27| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
The following May, domestic and international teaser trailers for "Ghost Rider" were launched at Apple. [cite news | author=Sony Pictures | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=4284 | title="Ghost Rider" Teaser Trailers Hit! | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=
2006-05-23| accessdate=2007-01-29 ]
April 19, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainmentconfirmed that in America the film will be issued on June 12, 2007 as a single-disc Theatrical Cut DVD, two-disc Extended Cut DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and UMD. Special features on the Extended Cut DVD include two commentary tracks, a comic book history feature, and a making of the film featurette. [cite news | author=Sony Pictures | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=5526 | title="Ghost Rider" DVD Cover Artwork | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date= 2007-04-19| accessdate=2007-05-13 ]
This is the official soundtrack was composed by
Christopher Youngand released by Varese Sarabande Records.
Name = Ghost Rider Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Type = Soundtrack
February 13, 2007
Varese Sarabande Records
Last album =
This album =
Next album =
#"Artistry in Death"
#"A Thing for Karen Carpenter"
#"More Sinister Than Popcorn"
#"No Way to Wisdom"
#"Serenade to a Daredevil's Devil"
#"The West was Built on Legends"
A video game based on the movie was developed by
Climax Groupand produced by 2K Gamesand was released for the PlayStation 2, PSP and Game Boy Advancein the United States, Europe, and Australiain July 2007. No versions were released in Japan. The game is based loosely on the movie, and features a storyline penned by Marvel Comicswriters Garth Ennisand Jimmy Palmiotti. In all versions, players can play as Ghost Rider both on foot, or on the Hellcycle. The version released for PS2 and PSP is a third person action game that features gameplay reminiscent to that of "God of War". The Game Boy Advanceversion is a beat 'em upsidescroller, with gameplay similar to " Castlevania" and " Road Rash".
"Ghost Rider" was commercially released in the
United Stateson February 16, 2007. The film grossed $15,420,123 on its opening day, [cite news | author= | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=ghostrider.htm | title= Ghost Rider (2007) - Daily Box Office | publisher= Box Office Mojo| date= 2007-03-13| accessdate=2007-03-13 ] while earning $45,388,836 for its opening weekend. The film earned $52,022,908 over the four-day President's Day weekend, with a per-theater average of $14,374 in 3,619 theaters. [cite news | author= | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=ghostrider.htm | title= Ghost Rider (2007) - Weekend Box Office | publisher= Box Office Mojo| date= 2007-03-13| accessdate=2007-03-13 ] As of December 3 2007the film has earned $115,802,596 domestically, and a worldwide total of $228,738,393. [cite news | author= | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=ghostrider.htm | title=Ghost Rider (2007) | publisher= Box Office Mojo| date= 2007-03-28| accessdate=2007-03-28 ]
"Ghost Rider" received mainly negative reviews from film critics. On
Rotten Tomatoes, "Ghost Rider" has a 28% overall approval out of 122 reviews from critics. [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghost_rider/ | title=Ghost Rider | publisher= Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2008-05-19 ]
February 9, 2007, Marvel producer Avi Aradannounced the development of "Ghost Rider 2" at a press event. [cite news | author=Peter Sciretta | url=http://www.slashfilm.com/2007/02/10/ghost-rider-2-announced/ | title=Ghost Rider 2 Announced | publisher=SlashFilm.com | date= 2007-02-10| accessdate=2007-02-10 ] Peter Fonda has also expressed a desire to return as Mephistopheles. [cite news | author=Arya Ponto | url=http://www.justpressplay.net/movies/310-to-yuma/news/peter-fonda-talks-about-working-with-russell-crowe-and-ghost-rider-2.html | title=Peter Fonda Talks About Working with Russell Crowe and 'Ghost Rider 2' | publisher=JustPressPlay.net | date= 2007-08-16| accessdate=2007-08-17 ] . In early December, 2007, Nicolas Cage also has expressed interest to return in the lead role as Ghost Rider. [cite news | author=Heather Newgen | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=6567 | title= Nicolas Cage on Ghost Rider 2 | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com| date= 2007-12-03| accessdate=2007-12-07 ] Shortly after, in another interview he went on further to mention that he would enjoy seeing a darker story, adding, "He's not eating jelly beans anymore; he's getting drunk". He also suggested that the film could do with newly created villains. [cite news | author=Larry Carroll | url=http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1575898/20071205/story.jhtml | title=Nicolas Cage Wants Ghost Rider To Team Up With Spidey, Hit The Bottle In Sequel | publisher=MTV | date= 2007-12-05| accessdate=2007-12-07 ]
* [http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/ghostrider Official site]
*imdb title|id=0259324|title=Ghost Rider
*amg title|id=1:291033|title=Ghost Rider
*mojo title|id=ghostrider|title=Ghost Rider
Box Office Leaders USA
date = February 18
date2 = February 25
year = 2007
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