This Friday, February 17th, Columbia Pictures will bring us Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the sequel to the 2007 film starring Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a.k.a. the Ghost Rider. Dread Central’s Nomad was lucky enough to sit down with Cage and have him share some Spirit of Vengeance knowledge with us.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance takes place eight years after the original film left off. “That’s eight years John Blaze has been on the lam in Eastern Europe,” Cage said. “He’s there because he doesn’t want to hurt anybody. He’s hiding out, knowing he can erupt into the Ghost Rider and cause a great deal of damage. So he’s far from home.”
And viewers will be happy to hear that this time away has left Johnny Blaze a darker individual. “In Mark Steven Johnson’s movie (the original Ghost Rider), the comedy comes from John Blaze trying to keep the curse at bay. He’s more like a child,” Cage said. “He’s eating stupid jelly beans and listening to very relaxing music because he doesn’t want to have the curse. With this version of John Blaze, he’s been living with it for eight years, and it’s taken a toll on his state of mind. The comedy in this comes much more from irony, sarcasm, cynicism, not unlike a cop or a paramedic that develops a dark sense of humor to deal with what he sees. So it’s an edgier John Blaze.”
Cage also felt he was able to put some of himself into the character. “Fortunately I’m working with filmmakers that create a very spontaneous atmosphere on the set where you can play and hopefully find some other bits of dialogue in the improv that also give it some flavor,” Cage said. “There’s very little CGI in the movie, just the skull and the fire and a bit of heat on the costume. But all the things you see are really happening. I would get into character. I would try to transform my body language and try to present a Ghost Rider that’s kind of enigmatic, like a bad dream.”
And although he was an avid Ghost Rider reader as a child, Cage feels his approach to the character is quite a bit different than in his youth. “As a child reading Ghost Rider when I was eight, it was more about trying to get my head around how could something that terrifying, using forces of evil, also be good,” Cage said, “and that was a very complicated thought process for an eight-year-old, as I’m sure you can imagine. But with the movie, at least Spirit of Vengeance, I wasn’t referring to anything except my own imagination as to how would a spirit of vengeance walk or how would he move his head or what can I give him that separates him from John Blaze, but still there’s that little bit of a connection and also how it would mess with his victims’ minds as well as the audiences’ minds in some way.”
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens this Friday, February 17th, in theaters everywhere.
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