|Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Interview with Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor|
|Written by David Woodard|
|Friday, 10 February 2012 01:00|
Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze in GHOST RIDER™ SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE. In this gritty new take on MARVEL's dark antihero, Johnny is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – but he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks (Idris Elba) to save a young boy from the devil… and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
GHOST RIDER™ SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE is directed by the team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor best know for their Crank films, as well as Gamer. The screenplay is by Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer, from a story by Goyer. In addition to Cage and Elba (who recently won a Golden Glob for his work as the lead on the BBC series "Luther), GHOST RIDER™ SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE stars Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, and Christopher Lambert.
Director Mark Neveldine was born in Watertown, NY and attended Hobart College where he majored in Drama/Psychology. He began his career in the arts an actor and Off-Broadway director. He moved on to work behind the camera as Director of Photography on documentaries, music videos and a television pilot. His narrative DP work includes “This Beautiful Life,” starring Ned Beatty.
On the other side of the country, Brian Taylor was born in Pasadena, CA. He served as Director of Photography on a variety of award-winning shorts and independent features.
Neveldine and Taylor joined forces on “The Keys,”which was filmed in Morocco. While working on that film they created one of their many camera techniques, “roller-dolly” (U.S. patent pending). The early part of 2002 was spent in the Dominican Republic completing work on a documentary about the Fuentes Cigar Family.
Upon returning to the United States, the directing team was promptly snatched up by @radical.media for commercials and music videos. Through @radical.media they directed award-winning commercials for Nike, Motorola, Bud Light, Powerade, KFC, Michelob and Honda.
Neveldine and Taylor hit the feature scene hard with a film they wrote, directed and camera-operated, Crank the featured Jason Statham, which became an instant cult classic. They wrote and produced the thriller Pathology, starring Milo Ventimiglia. Following that, they reunited with Statham for Crank: High Voltage.
As the due were finishing up work on their latest venture, GHOST RIDER™ SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, I caught up with them at the NY Comic Con and got a chance to chat with them.
FEARS: This new Ghost Rider film its not a squeal or a prequel, so how would you describe it?
MARK NEVELDINE: It’s a Requal. We have Nic Cage in the movie, we obviously kept that, but everything else is just based on a completely different story. It is its own beast. This script was actually based on David Goyer’s script from 10 years ago and that was before the first Ghost Rider film. So it is really its own movie. You have elements from Ghost Rider One, Nic is playing Jonny Blaze but that’s really about it.
FEARS: Was there a reason to go that route?
MARK NEVELDINE: When we came to the project it was the only way. We wanted our thing and we wanted to separate ourselves from that first movie, and Sony did as well. It was perfect for what we wanted and everything worked out well.
FEARS: This film is in 3D. Could you talk about the challenges on shooting in 3D?
BRIAN TAYLOR: We knew it was going to be 3D from the start so we did a lot of research in pre-production. We shoot the film in a very active style. A lot of hand held, running around, moving the camera, and putting the camera in pearl. Basically all that stuff is impossible to do with the giant 3D rigs. So we started looking into what would be involved in converting 2D into 3D. What are the best ways to do that? We want to know ahead of time what could go wrong and what we needed to do to make it turn out great. We think that we've broken a lot of ground and pushed the envelope with what’s possible. We were able to shoot pretty much anything we wanted on this movie and find ways of turning it into 3D that are cutting edge and really amazing. And its something that we really cared about a lot so every frame of 3D in the movie that you see is something that we put our stamp on. We went down to the pixels to make sure that was done perfectly.
FEARS: I know with your past films. such as Gamer, you came up with some interesting rigs and new ways to handle the camera.
BRIAN TAYLOR: Gamer should have been 3D that would have been an amazing movie in 3D and we wanted to shoot Crank 2 in 3D. But the technology wasn’t there at the time.
FEARS: So you feel that now the technology lends itself to your camera in peril style?
MARK NEVELDINE: Yeah and the technology is there so we can convert it and it looks great.
BRIAN TAYLOR: And we can do it our way.
FEARS: So this is your first superhero film that you have worked on.
MARK NEVELDINE: Yeah well, Chev Chelios (Crank)...
BRIAN TAYLOR: You could consider Chev Cheliosa a superhero?
MARK NEVELDINE: Chev has the power of flight even if he can only fly downward.
BRIAN TAYLOR: Yeah, really fast.
MARK NEVELDINE: And he saves the girl.
FEARS: So do you see more superhero films in your future?
BRIAN TAYLOR: Maybe. It feels like they're the only films getting made anymore and we want to continue making movies so…It's possible.
MARK NEVELDINE: We have to see how this movie does. We hope the fans love it enough and turn out to support the film so we can make another one. So you never know, there could very well be a Ghost Rider … 3? It wouldn’t be called three… I guess the sequel to the requel.
BRIAN TAYLOR: Ghost Rider :Balls of Fire!
FEARS: So with all the superhero films that have come, and are still to be released, what do you think separates Ghost Rider from the rest of those film?
MARK NEVELDINE: This superhero was created in hell, he's the darkest of all the superheroes and we shot this film in our crazy style.
GHOST RIDER SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE In Theaters February 17, 2012.
This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for INTENSE SEQUENCES OF ACTION AND VIOLENCE, SOME DISTURBING IMAGES, AND LANGUAGE.
|Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2012 12:48|