With Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance getting set to make its theatrical debut in a few weeks, a lawsuit over who actually owns the character recently played out dramatically in the judicial system. Read on for the latest.
According to Deadline, rights to the flaming-skull, motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider belongs to Marvel Comics, a federal judge ruled. The vigilante played by Nicolas Cage in a 2007 movie and its upcoming sequel debuted in 1972 after Marvel freelancer Gary Friedrich first conceived him, the judge ruled. In his 2007 lawsuit, Friedrich claimed Marvel had infringed his rights to the character and its use in movies and merchandise. The judge said Friedrich relinquished his rights to Ghost Rider when he endorsed and cashed checks from Marvel. Those checks contained language relinquishing all rights.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, stars Nicolas Cage, Nicolas Cage’s hair, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, Violante Placido and Ciaran Hinds. The movie finds Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider (Cage), hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil (Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son’s body on the boy’s birthday. Its scheduled release date is February 17, 2012.
It has been several years since making a deal with the Devil and Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), living in self-imposed isolation, finds himself as the only person who can help save 10-year-old Danny – and ultimately the world – thanks to his unwanted and uncontrollable power – his ability to transform into the hell-on-wheels monster known as The Ghost Rider.
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