You All Done Forgot About Nicolas Cage…
What were you doing twelve years ago?
I don’t know, Goblin, and no one else knows or cares — other than you — but I know you were planted in the theater watching Nicolas Cage in his big role as the motorcycle stunt rider, Johnny Blaze, who gets dead, gets resurrected by Mephistopheles, and then gets granted the Spirit of Vengeance in 2007.
If you read the Marvel Comics, as I did throughout the 1990s, you were excited about the prospect of a Ghost Rider film — of any kind.
You wanted to see Johnny Blaze, Blackheart, and the whole crew on the big screen.
And sure, Nicolas Cage was just coming off of a decade that included Con Air, Snake Eyes, and City of Angels. And then he had followed up with Adaptation (and a second Oscar nod) and Lord of War, which were bright spots in an otherwise precipitous acting decline.
And surely he wouldn’t drag a character down like Ghost Rider with Mark Stephen Johnson (Daredevil) directing?
And then, you watched Ghost Rider and you walked out of the theater in a vain attempt to forget that all of that had even happened to you.
And now, twelve years later, during the rise of streaming services, bifurcated attention spans, and watered-down audience focus, you read that someone somewhere did something involving Ghost Rider.
From the trades:
“Hulu in May picked up two new live-action series from Disney sibling Marvel Television, Ghost Rider and Helstrom, to premiere in 2020.”
Which Twinkle-Toed Idiot at Hulu Greenlit This?
I am at a loss to explain how a comic book that I stopped buying right around 1998 with issue number “something-or-other,” got greenlit as a potential live-action series on Hulu after the Nic Cage film bombed.
Ghost Rider didn’t bomb at the box office.
That sucker made $228 million dollars against a $110 million dollar budget.
Which, for a Nic Cage film, makes it a hit, generating a sequel (back when Hollywood was still trying to figure out superhero IP), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which grossed $132 million dollars against a $75 million dollar budget.
That’s how it got greenlit.
From the trades, yet again:
“Marvel Television remains a leading supplier to Hulu with a series slate that includes the live-action Marvel’s Runaways, which has been renewed for a third season, and the upcoming Marvel’s Helstrom, both co-produced by ABC Signature. It also is involved in a suite of four connected animated series — Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K, Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show and Marvel’s Howard the Duck — set to roll out in 2020, culminating in a special event, Marvel’s The Offenders.”
I’m offended just reading that paragraph.
And, I’m not quite sure what all those words mean other than: “blah-blah-blah, we greenlit a bunch of silly C-level characters to hold onto Marvel Television copyrights.
And someone on this site a few days ago insinuated that I don’t understand copyright.
Greenlit, greenlit, greenlit…
Marvel, ABC, and Hulu I guess have a business move here with greenlighting these C-level properties, including Ghost Rider that pushes them to at least put some dollars behind shows that only a fraction of an audience is going to even be remotely interested in:
- Disney needs to make sure that the MCU stumbles along in whatever form it can to stay at the forefront of a distracted audience considering that the Smartest Man Alive TM has moved one office over to manage the flailing Star Wars.
- Hulu needs to stay relevant in the streaming wars, now that they have lost Seinfeld to Netflix. All that money they didn’t pay for Jerry and the crew they can now invest in properties that will maybe generate some niche interest from some people somewhere.
But, Hulu better be careful, or they’re going to become a higher quality version of Crackle.
Maybe Mephistopheles is taking phone calls these days?
Ghost Rider gets greenlit, then gets canceled. But it doesn’t matter because we wrote about it here.
What do you all think about this deal? Sound off below.