Columbia Pictures invited online press outlets to watch 20 minutes of clips from the highly-anticipated Ghost Rider at the historic and picturesque Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Thursday, November 30. The studio went all out and took over a good section of the cemetery that was set up with a mini bar, appetizers and tables that were complete with burning vanilla scented candles and life-like skulls near the crematory where the interviews with Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes and writer and director Mark Steven Johnson took place after the brief screening.
As you know, the story is centered on Johnny Blaze who sells his soul to the devil to save his father’s life; however, he doesn’t realize the price he’d have to pay for the deal he made as he is made the devil’s bounty hunter and hunts anything that has escaped from the devil’s clinches.
As we sat in chairs on the lawn facing a Mausoleum wall, which served as our screen to watch the clips, Johnson introduced what we were about to see and reminded us that this was still a work in progress.
“In the movie, he’s trying to explain to Roxanne what he is. Rather than go into what you usually see in these superhero movies, which is keeping it a big dark secret, he went the other way and Johnny just blurts everything out,” Johnson laughed.
“You’re also going to see him taking down one of the demons. Wes Bentley who plays the son of the devil, the devil being Peter Fonda, Wes goes out to collect a couple of elemental demons. Air, water and earth. These demons are going to try to help him defeat the Ghost Rider,” he continued.
In addition, we got to see Johnny painfully transform into the Ghost Rider as he speeds through a Texan town on his bike racing to beat nightfall and preparing for his alteration. As he slides into garbage cans and tumbles onto a concrete floor, smoke begins to rise and blue and red flames engulf his hands, feet and face. We see his flesh burning and melting until it’s nothing but the bones of his skeleton.
As he looks at his flaming skin, he jumps on his chopper and with the flick of his hand; he ignites his bike on fire and flies off to do his nightly job for the devil.
As Johnson promised, we saw Johnny and Roxanne awkwardly interacting as she tries to get close to him and he pulls back. She stops by unexpectedly and he tries to nicely get rid of her before night approaches. She doesn’t understand what’s going on and finally breaks down and tells her who he really is. Of course, she doesn’t believe him and leaves vowing to never come back.
“I think I should walk you to your car. This is not a great time,” Johnny tells Roxanne.
“You almost kill yourself on the highway so you can ask me out and then you don’t show. Then you keep my picture, but when I kiss you, you try to shove me out the door. What, what’s going on,” Roxanne asks. “Don’t you care about me Johnny? You can talk to me. You can tell me anything.”
“You wouldn’t believe me anyway,” Johnny replies.
‘You’ll think I’m crazy. Maybe I am crazy. I hope I’m crazy.”
“With my job, I’ve seen and heard just about everything,” Roxanne reminds him. “So there is nothing that you can tell me that’s going to surprise me.”
“Off the record?”
“I sold my soul to the devil and now I have to spare you.”
Roxanne sits on the bed looking confused and doesn’t believe what Johnny is telling her.
“Spare me from what?” she asks
“The devil. On account I work for him. That’s why I couldn’t make it to dinner.”
“Because you were working for the devil?”
“Yeah. I’m his bounty hunter. It only happens at night like it is right now. When I’m around evil, evil people, evil spirits I changeâ€¦But, I am learning to get control of it. I’m trying to.”
“So tonight you’llâ€¦”
“I believe so, yeah. So it’s probably a very good idea that you run home now Roxie.”
Of course she’s pissed off thinking he’s making up an excuse not to be with her and she leaves.
In the next clip, however, we see a kick ass fight scene between the Ghost Rider and a demon. As he is chasing the demon, police trap him on a bridge and he unperturbedly rides down the side and into the water where he emerges moments later flipping off the law enforcement as he glides over the river and back onto the streets in search of the enemy.
The battle takes him through the town and on top of a glass building where he believes the demon will be. As Roxanne is packing in her apartment, she glances out her window and sees the Ghost Rider cleverly maneuvering his way up the side of the building across the way and she’s in disbelief. She runs outside and a large group of people are gathering also in incredulity as they watch a flaming bike race up the building and fight it out with the demon.
When he reaches the top, a cop in a helicopter tries to zero in on him and he whips out a chain lasso engulfed in flames and ropes the chopper in. He swings him around to the opposite side and shouts at him to leave him alone.
Then he finally has it out with the demon and it’s a dark, intense and just an amazing moment in the film.
After the screening of the footage, we talked to Mark Steven Johnson, Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. You can read the Q&As in full at the links below:
Source: Heather Newgen