Ghost Rider Rights Dispute Headed Back to Court

Ghost Rider

The Ghost Rider movie franchise is laying dormant for now, but the battle over the original comic book character is rearing its ugly head once more.

A federal appeals court has just overturned a 2011 ruling which stated Marvel Comics, not author Gary Friedrich, owns the character. After reviewing the copyright case, Judge Danny Chin determined that Friedrich’s original contract with the publisher was “ambiguous” and therefore required further investigation. More on what this means for Ghost Rider and other comic book properties after the jump.

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While Sony raced to the finish line to keep the rights to Spider-Man, the same can’t be said for another major character. Rewind: a few years back, the studio was in danger of losing the rights to the webslinger after Spider-Man 3. Director Sam Raimi couldn’t come to terms on a fourth film and if Sony didn’t get a film in production within a certain time frame, Spider-Man would have been in danger of joining Marvel’s The Avengers. That’s why, just five years after its last sequel, Marc Webb’s reboot The Amazing Spider-Man was born.

Recently, rights packages lapsed for several Marvel characters once licensed to other studios, such as the Punisher and Daredevil, bringing them back to Marvel. Two more names can now be added to that list, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. A new interview confirms that despite last year’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Marvel once again controls the rights to both Ghost Rider, formerly at Sony, and Blade, formerly at New Line. Read More »

There are days when it feels like all anyone does in Hollywood anymore is make sequels. But today, two folks have decided to opt out of their respective franchises’ next steps.

Though Disney’s reportedly eager to move forward on an Oz The Great and Powerful sequel, director Sam Raimi says he has no plans to direct it. Over at Sony, meanwhile, Nicolas Cage says Ghost Rider 3 could still get made — but not with him. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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What did Anne Hathaway have to say about the legacy of Catwoman? Which Doctor Who star dressed up as Batman this week in Hollywood? What superhero is a former Congressman using to attack his political rivals? Marvel is bringing two stars to San Diego Comic Con this year, who are they? And is Ghost Rider really becoming a girl? Read about that all and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 21 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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/Film reader Derek Stettler has compiled a video titled “Reel Wisdom: Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes,” which does just what it claims. Here is more from the editor:

I made this video because I love films and I think there is great wisdom inherent in the film medium. This video represents some of the best wisdom from films, edited together as a single coherent piece of advice on everything from life, death, and purpose, to anger, regret, and destiny. In creating this video, I tried to feature a broad array of films, from action/adventure and sci-fi films, to dramas and traditional/CG animated films in order to show how all genres of film have something important to say.

Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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‘Ghost Rider’ Sequel Budget Trimmed?

These are tough economic times we’re living, and movie studios are changing their ways in hopes of adapting. Or at least, Sony is.

As you likely already know, there’s a Ghost Rider sequel in the works—carrying the tentative title Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance—and Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are helming it. Now it’s been given the official greenlight, but there’s a snag: it’s projected budget of $135 million has been cut down to a significantly lower $75 million. Read More »

neveldine-taylor-ghost-rider

Last month it was reported that Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the mad men behind the two Crank films, were negotiating to make a Ghost Rider sequel, tentatively titled Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance. At the time we weren’t sure that Nicolas Cage would return, and it wasn’t a definite that Neveldine/Taylor were chips in. We now know the answer to both questions. Read More »

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