Ghost RiderVariety reports that Mark Steven Johnson will direct Ghost Rider for Columbia Pictures (Spider-Man), with Nicolas Cage set to star. The Daredevil director will rewrite the script by Shane Salerno.
Movie is an adaptation of the Marvel Comics property that centers on a motorcyclist who inadvertently makes a pact with dark forces and must fight against them in order to protect the woman he loves.
Pic has been greenlit for a start in late '03 or early '04.
Producing are Johnson's partner in Horseshoe Bay Prods., Gary Foster, with Marvel principal Avi Arad and Crystal Sky's Steven Paul.
Supervised by production co-president Matt Tolmach, Col views the action- and FX-heavy "Ghost Rider" as the first in a potential franchise.
Stephen Norrington was originally set to direct, but he left to work on "Tick Tock", which was never made after the events of 9/11. Columbia Pictures picked up the project in turnaround from Dimension Films. In addition to Salerno, David Goyer wrote a draft of the script.
I don't know what I can say about Cage in the lead role, though. I'll reserve my judgment though, and hope Cage astounds me in the role. As for Daredevil 2 and Elektra, don't worry about those. It's been said that Johnson will still be involved with those projects.
There's a little bit more info on the movie and Johnson in this article:
Empire OnlineIt has been a long time coming but it looks like Ghost Rider is finally coming to fruition. After Steven Norrington stepped out and both Guillermo Del Toro and Tarsem were connected and subsequently ruled out as possible directors, Daredevil helmer, Mark Steven Johnson has accepted the challenge of transferring the flaming vigilante to the screen.
Bringing out the darker side of Daredevil, Johnson would seem well qualified for the adaptation of what is far from one of Marvelís more light and airy properties. The story centres around Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who sells his soul to the devil in order to save a loved one's life and subsequently finds a demon sharing his body.
Exclusively talking to Empire, Mark Steven Johnson gave his reasons for taking on Marvel's latest. "The Ghost Rider is one of the great icons in comics," he said. "It's that classic Devil and Daniel Webster story. A Faustian bargain that change's Johnny's life."
Nicolas Cage is still slated to take up chain and biker jacket as the man himself, prowling America's highways ready to turn his penance stare upon unwary villains while Johnson goes back to the drawing board to begin a new draft of the screenplay. " The studio wants me to write my own version of Ghost Rider. I want to go back to the source material and use more of the comic. I'm just sitting down to write now. This project has been close to going before. Hopefully it's not cursed! I'm hoping that we could be shooting next winter."
Look out for exclusive updates on Mark Steven Johnson's other projects in the June issue of Empire, on sale 28 April.