Ghost Rider (film)
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- Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider
- Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson
- Brett Cullen as Barton Blaze
- Wes Bentley as Blackheart
- Sam Elliott as Carter Slade / Phantom Rider
- Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles
- Donal Logue as Mack
- Matt Long as Young Johnny Blaze
- Raquel Alessi as Young Roxanne Simpson
- Daniel Frederiksen as Wallow
- Laurence Breuls as Gressil
- Mathew Wilkinson as Abigor
In May 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival, DC Studios announced an agreement with Crystal Sky Entertainment to film Ghost Rider with actor Jon Voight attached as a producer. Production was scheduled to start in early 2001 with a budget of $75 million, with actor Johnny Depp expressing interest in the lead role. The following August, Dimension Films joined Crystal Sky to co-finance the film, which would be written by David S. Goyer and directed by Stephen Norrington. In June 2001, actor Nicolas Cage entered talks to be cast into the lead role for Ghost Rider, 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.
In the following August, Norrington abandoned the project due to a scheduling conflict, leaving to film the action flick Tick Tock starring Jennifer Lopez. Depp eventually left the project as well. By May 2002, the studio Columbia Pictures sought to acquire rights to the film in turnaround from Dimension Films following the success of Spider-Man. In April 2003, under Columbia Pictures, director Mark Steven Johnson took 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. 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 of 2004.
Ghost Rider had again been delayed to begin in late 2004, but the lack of a workable script continued to delay production. In January 2005, actor Wes Bentley was cast as the villain Blackheart, having been introduced to Johnson by Colin Farrell, who had worked with the director in Daredevil. Actress Eva Mendes was also cast opposite Cage as the Ghost Rider's girlfriend. On February 14, 2005, Ghost Rider commenced filming in Australia at the Melbourne Docklands film studios. Then in March 2005, actor Peter Fonda (who starred in Easy Rider) was cast as the villain Mephistopheles. Johnson originally planned to film before an audience at the Telstra Dome, but instead opted to create a crowd using computer-generated imagery. The director also chose to film in the motorcycle district of Melbourne. By June 2005, principal photography had been completed for Ghost Rider, which was set for a summer 2006 release. In December 2005, musical composer Christopher Young was announced to score Ghost Rider. In addition, Spiderbait, a band that Johnson befriended during filming in Australia,performed a cover of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" for the end credits. In April 2006, the cast and crew performed last-minute reshoots in Vancouver. Ghost Rider was originally scheduled to release on August 4, 2006, but the date was moved three weeks earlier to July 14, 2006. Sony changed the film's release date once more to February 16, 2007 to help relieve the studio's crowded 2006 calendar.
Ghost Rider was commercially released in the United States on February 16, 2007. The film grossed $15,420,123 on its opening day. The film earned $45,388,836 for the 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. As of December 3, 2007 the film has earned $115,802,596 domestically, and a worldwide total of $228,738,393.
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 .