A combination of conflicting schedules for Nicholas Cage and the studio needing to get the sequel into production by late 2010 may force Columbia to move on ahead with a planned “Ghost Rider 2″ without original star Nicolas Cage, reports Vulture. The big issue seems to be Cage’s schedule, which may not be flexible enough to allow Cage to make “Ghost Rider 2″ with a third “National Treasure” film looming in the near future. If Cage had to choose, he would undoubtedly go with “Treasure”, as that film would net him a much bigger paycheck than “Rider”, and as you might recall, ol Nic is in some serious need of cash at the moment.
As for Columbia, if they can’t get “Ghost Rider 2″ in front of the cameras by the end of 2010, rights to the movie will revert back to Marvel. Frankly, that might not be such a bad idea, as it would allow Marvel Studios to incorporate the guy with the flaming skull back into their ever-expanding movie universe. So why is Columbia so keen on getting a sequel out as soon as possible? The original “Ghost Rider” opened in 2007 and did surprisingly well, bringing in over $228 in worldwide grosses, including $116 million in the States alone. That’s why.
Whatever happens, it’s been known for a while now that “Ghost Rider 2″ would take the Spirit of Vengeance to Europe, where he’ll tackle with demons and the Church. Eva Mendes and her very generous assets will not be returning for a second go-round, and also missing will be original director Mark Steven Johnson.