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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

For the Marvel Comics character, see Spirit of Vengeance (comics).

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
File:Ghost Rider 2 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Neveldine/Taylor
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by David S. Goyer
Based on Ghost Rider 
by Roy Thomas
Gary Friedrich
Mike Ploog
Music by David Sardy
Cinematography Brandon Trost
Edited by Brian Berdan
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • February 17, 2012 (2012-02-17)
Running time
95 minutes[1]
Country United States
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
Budget $57 million[2]
Box office $132,563,930[3]

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a 2012 American 3D supernatural superhero film based on the Marvel Comics antihero Ghost Rider. It is a stand-alone sequel to the 2007 film Ghost Rider and features Nicolas Cage returning to his starring role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider[4] with supporting roles done by Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, Christopher Lambert, and Idris Elba. The film was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, from a screenplay written by David S. Goyer, Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was released in theaters on February 17, 2012.

Critical reception was largely negative, with critics criticizing the script and deeming CGI and acting as poor.[5] Despite this, the film was a box office success making over $132 million against its $57 million budget.[6] Despite the film's box office success, Nicolas Cage has said that he is "done" with the Ghost Rider films. In May 2013, the film rights to Ghost Rider reverted to Marvel Studios, but the studio has no plans to make a Ghost Rider film in the near future.


A French priest named Moreau warns the monks of a monastery about an impending attack by the devil's forces to obtain a boy named Danny. The monastery falls under attack; Moreau tries to help the boy and his mother Nadya escape, but the distrusting mother shoots at Moreau and flees with her son. Moreau manages to distract the men chasing Danny and Nadya, but nearly dies in the process and loses them. He believes that only the Ghost Rider is capable of protecting the boy. He finds the Rider and seeks his help.

Eight years have passed since the events of the first film, which dealt with Johnny Blaze making a deal with the demon Roarke (Mephistopheles), and becoming the Ghost Rider — a vengeful, fiery spirit who feeds on the evil of his victims and consumes the souls of sinners. No matter how small the infraction — anything from genocide to a white lie — the Rider does not differentiate. This drives Blaze into hiding, fighting the evil spirit within him. Moreau finds him with some ease and convinces him to save the boy in exchange for his priesthood's ability to restore Johnny's soul and remove the Ghost Rider's curse forever. Meanwhile, pursuers force Nadya and Danny from the road and bring them to their leader: her former boyfriend Ray Carrigan. Carrigan has Danny tied up and is about to execute Nadya when the Ghost Rider appears; the Ghost Rider kills several of Carrigan's men and then moves in on Danny. Nadya distracts the Ghost Rider, who then is shot with grenades into submission. Carrigan leaves with Danny in tow.

Johnny wakes up the next morning in a hospital. On the way out, he convinces Nadya not to trust him, but to accept his help to find Danny. However, Carrigan tells Roarke about the Rider, and Roarke speaks an incantation to Danny via phone; this, in effect, puts up a "firewall" preventing the Rider from sensing his whereabouts. He warns Carrigan it will not shield him from being sensed and gives him instructions to deliver Danny. Nadya later tells Blaze that as she lay dying, she made a deal with Roarke: her life in return for him impregnating her with Danny, making Danny a direct vessel for Roarke and the potential for him to have unlimited power on the surface world. Roarke lacks this power so far from Hell. Danny nearly escapes, but breaks his ankle and is recaptured. That night, Nadya and Johnny interrogate a known contact of Carrigan's. Johnny takes off ahead of Nadya to deal with Carrigan. Nadya saves Danny as the Rider converts a mining machine (a Bagger 288[7]) into a massive fiery machine, destroying their hideout complex and mortally wounding Carrigan. When Ghost Rider catches up to Nadya and starts to use his Penance Stare on her, Danny is able to stop the rider with a word, exercising his hidden power.

Moreau catches up with the group as they ride off. Roarke is not done with Carrigan; using his power, he turns Carrigan into a demon called Blackout capable of instantly decaying anything he touches while shrouded in darkness. Johnny and Nadya bring Danny to Moreau's monastery with warm reception. Moreau delivers on his end of the bargain and, after explaining that the Ghost Rider is the twisted incarnation of the Spirit of Justice, Zarathos, after being captured and tortured to madness while in Hell, he exorcises Johnny of the spirit and Johnny becomes human again. The head monk Methodius (Christopher Lambert) proclaims that Danny will never be safe from the influence of evil and says he must die, taking Johnny, Moreau, and Nadya captive in order to execute the boy. Carrigan intervenes, however, killing the monks and taking Danny captive again to deliver to Roarke. The others follow, with Johnny not wanting to desert Danny after having promised to protect him. With the ritual to transfer Roarke's spirit and power into Danny underway, the three infiltrate the compound to save him. Carrigan kills Moreau, but Danny (who Roarke states has the same powers as he does) gives Johnny back the power of the Ghost Rider. Roarke manages to escape with Danny, and the Ghost Rider and Nadya give pursuit. After a vehicular struggle, Ghost Rider manages to defeat Carrigan and causes the SUV carrying Roarke and Danny to crash. The Ghost Rider literally sends Roarke back into hell while Danny, who had died in the accident, is returned to his mother. Channeling the blue flame of Zarathos, Johnny manages to revive Danny and assures him that his safety is assured.

As the film closes, the Rider, now covered in angelic blue flames, rides off on his motorcycle, saying "My name is Johnny Blaze. I'm the Ghost Rider".


  • Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider: A motorcycle stunt man who sold his soul to a demon and became a vengeful fiery spirit that feeds on the evil of his victims.
  • Johnny Whitworth as Ray Carrigan / Blackout:[8] A mercenary, drug dealer, and gun runner turned into Blackout by the Devil to complete his job. This transformation gives him the fortitude and supernatural abilities to compete with Ghost Rider.[9] Carrigan's powers are completely unlike those of the comic book character; writers admitted that the only aspect of Blackout they used in designing the movie version was his appearance.[10]
  • Fergus Riordan as Danny: A young child caught up in a demonic conspiracy who ends up in the care of Johnny Blaze during his travels.[11]
  • Ciarán Hinds as Roarke/Mephistopheles: The mortal form of the demon who transformed Johnny Blaze in the Ghost Rider. He has fathered a child, with Nadya, and has plans for the boy, Danny. Actor Peter Fonda, who portrayed the character in the first film, had expressed interest in reprising the role.[12] However, Hinds was revealed to be playing the character instead.[13]
  • Violante Placido as Nadya: Danny's mother and Ray's ex-girlfriend who helps Johnny to stop Mephisto from taking over his body.[13]
  • Idris Elba as Moreau: A French member of a secret religious organization who joins forces with Johnny. He is the one who tells Johnny to find Danny.[14]
  • Christopher Lambert as Methodius: a senior monk.[15][16]
  • Anthony Head as Benedict: A senior monk at the castle where Nadya and Danny are hiding at the start of the film.
  • Jacek Koman as Terrokov
  • Vincent Regan as Toma Nikasevic: An arms dealer who works with Carrigan.
  • Spencer Wilding as Grannik


On February 9, 2007, Marvel producer Avi Arad announced the development of Ghost Rider 2 at a press event.[17] Peter Fonda had also expressed a desire to return as Mephistopheles.[18] In early December, 2007, Nicolas Cage also expressed interest to return in the lead role as Ghost Rider.[19] 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 suggested that the film could do with newly created villains.[20] It was also rumored that the sequel would feature Danny Ketch, another Marvel character who took up the Ghost Rider mantle in the comics.[21]

"This story picks up eight years after the first film," said Goyer. "You don't have to have seen the first film. It doesn't contradict anything that happened in the first film, but we're pretending that our audience hasn't seen the first film. It's as if you took that same character where things ended in the first film and then picked it up eight years later—he's just in a much darker, existential place."

David S. Goyer about the relationship between the two Ghost Rider films.[22]

In a September 2008 interview, Cage informed IGN that Columbia had taken meetings to start a sequel. Cage noted conversations about the story, where Ghost Rider may end up in Europe on behalf of the church, having story elements "very much in the zeitgeist, like Da Vinci Code."[23] In February 2009, an online source stated Columbia Pictures had greenlit a sequel to Ghost Rider. Nicolas Cage was stated to reprise the lead role, whilst the studio were in search of writers.[24] On September 23, 2009, it was reported that David S. Goyer had signed on to write the script for the sequel.[25] Goyer spoke to MTV about the sequel, stating that the story would pick up eight years after the events of the first film and that he hopes to start filming by 2010.[22][26] The sequel is titled Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and was produced by Mike De Luca,[27] and screened with a PG-13 rating.[28] On July 14, 2010 it was confirmed that Nicolas Cage would return, and Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were announced to direct the film, with editor Brian Berdan and cinematographer Brandon Trost reuniting with the directors from the Crank films.[29]

Christopher Lambert underwent three months of sword training[30] and shaved his head for his role.[31]


In July 2010, Cage revealed shooting was to start in November.[32] In an interview with Superhero Hype!, Eva Mendes revealed that she would not be back as Roxanne for the sequel.[33] The film was shot in Romania and Turkey.[34] The film started principal photography in Sibiu, Romania in November 2010, using mostly local talent.[4] Principal photography was completed on January 24, 2011.[35] On March 16, 2011, it was confirmed that Johnny Whitworth would be playing the antagonist, which was also confirmed to be Blackout.[9] The film was converted in post-production to 3D.[6]

Three scenes were shot on set Castel Film Romania. Among the places in the country chosen were Transfăgărăşan, Targu-Jiu, Hunedoara Castle and Bucharest.[36]

Filming in Turkey took place in Cappadocia, a historical region in central Turkey with exotic chimney topped rocky setting. The scene with the Greco-Roman theatre was filmed in Pamukkale where the ancient Greek (of the Seleucid Empire) city of Hierapolis once stood.


Reviewers who viewed an early preview screening at the December 2011 Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin expressed negative reactions to the film, with two attendants saying it was worse than the first Ghost Rider film, and one even going so far as to say that the sequel makes the first film "look like The Dark Knight" by comparison.[37]

The film holds a 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 113 reviews with the consensus stating: "With a weak script, uneven CG work, and a Nicolas Cage performance so predictably loony it's no longer amusing, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance aims to be trashy fun but ends up as plain trash."[38] On Metacritic, the film currently holds a score of 32 based on 20 reviews.[39] On the other hand, IGN gave the movie four out of five stars.[40]

Box office

Despite its negative reviews, it opened in 3,174 theaters at #3 with $22,115,334, behind Safe House, which moved to #1 on its second weekend and The Vow the holdover of the last week, less than half of Ghost Rider's opening weekend of $45,388,836. As of June 4, it has gone on to gross $51,774,002 at the domestic box office and $80,789,928 overseas for a worldwide total of $132,563,930.[41]


Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards.[42]

Golden Raspberry Awards


In February 2012, directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor discussed producing a potential Ghost Rider 3, and having someone else direct it.[43] Neveldine told The Playlist that Nicolas Cage has expressed interest in appearing in another Ghost Rider film, hinting that the film could move forward provided that Spirit of Vengeance was a success saying "I know Nic wants to do it, he's very pumped about it.....We'll just have to see how well [this] does."[44] In March 2013, when Nicolas Cage was asked about a possible third installment, Cage said "It's possible, but it won't be with me... Anything's possible. But I doubt, highly, that I would be in a third installment of that."[45] According to MTV, Cage believes that another Ghost Rider film might happen "down the road" saying "It would be interesting if they did it with a female Ghost Rider," but he insisted that his days as Johnny Blaze are behind him for now. Cage also said "Personally, I'm done," he said. "I've done what I had to do with that part. You never say never, but right now, today, I would say that I'm done."[46]

On May 2, 2013, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that the film rights to Ghost Rider had reverted to Marvel Studios, though also stated that the studio had no immediate plans to make another Ghost Rider film.[47][48]


  1. ^ "GHOST RIDER - SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 10, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Leaner Budget for 'Ghost Rider 2' Gets Greenlight from Sony and Hyde Park". The Wrap. October 10, 2010. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (PG-13)". The Wrap. 25 March 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' Set for February 17, 2012". (CraveOnline). September 17, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Bryan Taylor interview on". September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  7. ^ "'Chatting with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance directors Neveldine and Taylor'". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ Douglas, Edward "Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance". Retrieved February 17, 2012
  9. ^ a b "Blackout Confirmed for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance". March 16, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ghost Rider Sequel's Blackout Won't Follow Marvel Mythology". 
  11. ^ "Cast/Filmmakers". Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Official Site. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Arya Ponto (August 16, 2007). "Peter Fonda Talks About Working with Russell Crowe and 'Ghost Rider 2'". Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b "Hinds and Placido Joining Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance". October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Idris Elba to Join 'Ghost Rider' Sequel & Possibly More Marvel Movies?". Cinematical. October 7, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Announcement of 'Ghost Rider 2' casting". Official Christopher Lambert Website. November 17, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Christophe Lambert, le retour d'une star sensible". (in French). April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ Peter Sciretta (2007-02-10). "Ghost Rider 2 Announced". Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  18. ^ Arya Ponto (2007-08-16). "Peter Fonda Talks About Working with Russell Crowe and 'Ghost Rider 2'". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  19. ^ Heather Newgen (2007-12-03). "Nicolas Cage on Ghost Rider 2". Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  20. ^ Larry Carroll (2007-12-05). "Nicolas Cage Wants Ghost Rider To Team Up With Spidey, Hit The Bottle In Sequel". MTV. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  21. ^ Jim Vejvoda (September 10, 2010). "Danny Ketch in Ghost Rider 2?". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b Josh Wigler (November 4, 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: David Goyer Says 'Ghost Rider 2' Isn't A Reboot, Takes Place Eight Years Later". Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  23. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (September 3, 2008). "Cage Talks Ghost Rider 2". IGN. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  24. ^ Miska, Brad (January 29, 2009). "Nicolas Cage Attached to 'Ghost Rider' Sequel". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  25. ^ Miska, Brad (October 2, 2009). "David Goyer's Shocking 'Ghost Rider 2' News". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  26. ^ Barton, Steve (November 4, 2009). "David Goyer Talks Ghost Rider 2". Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  27. ^ "'Ghost Rider' Sequel Will Be Like Pushing the Reset Button". 
  28. ^ e "Ghost Rider 2 Update". 
  29. ^ "Neveldine and Taylor WIll Direct Ghost Ride Sequel and Cage Will Return". The Film Stage. June 14, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010. 
  30. ^ "'Ghost Rider 2' Casting Updates: Ciaran Hinds, Iris Elba, Johnny Whitworth & Christopher Lambert". October 12, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  31. ^ "La bonne étoile de Christophe Lambert" (in French). February 25, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Nicolas Cage Says 'Ghost Rider 2' Is 'A Different Trajectory, But It's Still The Same Guy'". Splash Page. July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  33. ^ "No Eva Mendes for Ghost Rider 2". Superhero Hype!. July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Ghost Rider Sequel to Shoot this Fall in 3D". [Superhero Hype!]. August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  35. ^ "‘Ghost Rider’ star Nicolas Cage admires Cappadocia". Today's Zaman. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  36. ^ Wilding, Josh. "New Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance Filming Details for Romania Revealed!" October 14, 2010
  37. ^ Virtel, Louis. "Early Report: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is so Awful, You’ll Pee Fire". Movieline. December 13, 2011
  38. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  39. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  40. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Review". IGN UK. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  41. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  42. ^ 33rd Annual RAZZIE® NOMINATIONS on YouTube
  43. ^ "Ghost Rider 3' & 'Crank 3D' Planned". 
  44. ^ "Ghost Rider 3' wanted by Nicolas Cage". 
  45. ^ "Nicolas Cage Talks GHOST RIDER 3; Says it’s Possible ‘But it Won’t be With Me’". 
  46. ^ "Nicolas Cage: 'I'm Done' Making 'Ghost Rider' Movies". 
  47. ^ "ANT-MAN Update From Kevin Feige, GHOST RIDER Has Returned To Marvel!". 
  48. ^ "Marvel's Phase Three: 'Doctor Strange,' 'Iron Man 4,' 'Hulk,' 'Inhumans' or 'Runaways' on Horizon? -- EXCLUSIVE". 

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