No matter how you feel about the films of Brian Taylor — a high-voltage assortment that includes Crank, Gamer, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — they all, at first glance, inspire a shared singular question: how the fuck did this get made?
Seriously. Just look at what these movies are about:
- To avoid dying, a British hitman must keep adrenaline coursing through his body.
- In a future where kids can control humans as if they were video game characters, a wrongly imprisoned death row convict seeks freedom.
- Years after making a deal with the Devil, a hell-on-wheels monster known as “The Ghost Rider” must save a young boy (and, ultimately, the world).
To many, these films are considered “guilty pleasures.” Yet interestingly enough, they come from an unexpectedly honest place: a desire to provide viewers with an alternative to the four-quadrant, check-the-boxes, CGI-everything Hollywood Machine.
This underlying, upend-the-system ethos was just one the many things I learned during my conversation with Taylor. But by no means was it the most interesting. Not compared to hearing about his wild and crazy “maniac” days, the strange legacy of Gamer and what it’s really like to work with the iconic and eccentric enigma that is Nicolas Cage. Read More »
We’ve been hearing about a possible Crank sequel for over seven years now. The 3D boom of the early 2000s should have alone made it worthwhile to have a Crank 3-D in production. At one point the story was going to have Chelios track down Osama Bin Laden as the plot for Crank 3, but as the filmmakers once put it, “that got fucked up.”
So what is the status of Crank 3? Mark Neveldine provides a status update and also talks about the insane filmmaker duo’s dream remake of The Warriors. Read about it, after the jump.
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OK, so while the idea of the guys behind Crank making a Ghost Rider film seemed like a good idea on paper, it didn’t quite work out that way. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has a few good sequences, sure, but most of it is fairly dire.
But there is a bit more entertainment to be had from the production. A set of deleted scenes and behind the scenes clips gives us a bit more footage of Nicolas Cage as he plays a man in the throes of demonic possession. The best part is that some of this material has unfinished effects, so we get to see the kooky light rig and makeup that Cage wore on set as he played Ghost Rider. Read More »
The sequels never stop, and the first one we want to talk about today is Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, the sequel to the 2010 film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. We know that Thor Freudenthal will direct the movie based on the second book in Rick Riordan‘s YA series, with a script by Ed Wood writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Logan Lerman and Alexandra D’addario are said to be returning, and now Variety reports that Douglas Smith (Big Love) is in final talks to play a co-starring role.
The Sea of Monsters, which sees the modern versions of characters inspired by Greek mythology seeking the famous and mythical Golden Fleece, is set for release on March 26, 2013. So we’ll probably hear about more casting and a shoot start soon.
After the break, slight news on Crank 3, Insidious 2 and that still-theoretical Twilight continuation. Read More »
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have worked for years as a directing duo, making features such as the two Crank films, Gamer and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Now, just days before that last film is released, Brian Taylor has been announced to direct his first solo feature.
Appropriately given that Sony has just released the latest installment of the Twisted Metal game franchise, Taylor will make the long-rumored film version of Twisted Metal. The film will depict a battle between strange characters who are behind the wheels of vehicles armed with extreme firepower. Read More »
It’s been a bumpy ride for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The film is a sequel to a movie very few people liked; when first announced there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm for the project. Then Crank and Gamer directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor came on board. Their hyper-kinetic, seat of the pants directorial style seemed so perfect for Ghost Rider that expectations elevated a bit. A Comic Con appearance featuring a lot of wild clips from the movie along with some great behind the scenes footage generated a legitimate sense of enthusiasm for the movie.
Then Spirit of Vengeance premiered at Harry Knowles’ 24-hour film marathon / birthday party this year, and things deflated really fast.
Just for the sake of fun, let’s turn back to the days of all that Comic Con excitement. If you weren’t in Hall H when Sony showed off the behind the scenes footage from Spirit of Vengeance, you can now check it out below. No matter how the final film actually plays, this is a great making-of clip. It might be a lot more fun to watch than the film. Read More »
The recent BNAT screening of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, from Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, turned out to be a giant miscalculation. The audience that you’d assume was most likely to be receptive to the Ghost Rider sequel ended up hating it, and now Columbia has wave of bad buzz to overcome.
The first step in the effort to sell the movie is this new trailer, which expands upon the crazy, fiery teaser trailer that appeared a while back. Trouble is, this shows off a lot of the story and reveals that the whole movie isn’t just Nic Cage pissing fire as Ghost Rider. I don’t know about you, but all I really want out of this movie is more things on fire. (Or more things being pissed on, or fire-pissed on, etc.)
Indeed, this trailer suggests that we’ve already seen a lot of the action in the movie, by recycling all the big, crazy action beats from the teaser trailer. Take a look below. Read More »
The Comic Con footage from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor‘s Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance was the sort of stuff that makes a guy want to type in all caps enthusiasm. Who thought a sequel to the lousy 2007 Nic Cage Marvel Comics adaptation would ever look like so much fun? What prompted the enthusiastic Comic Con response? Think crazy God of War-style chain violence, vomiting flaming bullets, and pissing fire. And that stuff is all in the just-released trailer. So check it out below and then get excited and all-caps shouty in the comments. Read More »
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Briefly: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directors of the two Crank movies, were at Comic Con to promote Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which got quite the good reception. One would think that, if that sequel hits and does particularly well, the duo might be able to jump to some other desirable projects.
And while that might happen, we might also still see a third Crank film from the directors. Efren Ramirez, who was in both films (in 2006 and 2009) also appeared at Comic Con, and he says that a third film is in the works, one which will either go forward with the character played by Jason Statham, or with someone new should he decide not to return. The video of his statements is after the break. Read More »
Devindra said it best when writing up Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance at Comic Con: “this might not suck.” The beautiful thing about those big Hall H presentations is that you can feel the mood of the room swing positive or negative in real time. The Hall H audience is like a 6000-person-sized elephant, only a bit quicker on its feet, emotionally speaking. As we saw footage of the making of the film, and then some of the final product, you could feel one big, stupid collective grin forming across the giant hall.
So the Ghost Rider sequel no one thought they wanted became the Ghost Rider sequel to which many of us will be at least willing to offer a chance, thanks to the daredevil direction of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and the fact that the title character vomits bullets and pisses fire. We don’t yet have footage to embed, but in the meantime you can get a first look at the film via scans of images that appeared in the new Empire. Read More »