Nicolas Cage Nixes Ghost Rider 3, Defends ‘Spirit Of Vengeance’

Nicolas Cage nixed Ghost Rider 3 in comments to MTV on Friday, March 8. The now-former Johnny Blaze said he would be hanging up his flaming skull for good when asked about a third film in the successful superhero series.

“I think the ship has sailed on that one … At least with me involved,” Cage said, adding that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the second in the series, was a success in spite of public perception.

“Contrary to whatever the perception is, that was an enormously successful movie,” Cage said, pointing out worldwide budget numbers in excess of $200 million.

Box Office Mojo reported a year-to-date gross of around $132.5 million, but what’s an extra $67.5 million?

Cage does have a point, however, regarding public perception about the second film in the saga. Made with a budget of $57 million, it generated a tidy profit for Sony and Columbia, whether one uses Cage’s numbers or the actual gross.

Still, much of its reputation is based on the fact its domestic gross ($51 million) was unable to hit break-even; its overall take fell short of the first film’s by about $100 million; and the Rotten Tomatoes fresh rating is a whopping 17 percent.

Nevertheless, Cage said he is proud of the film and viewed it “as a success.”

“I think people need to know we did that on a shoestring budget. When you look at it that way you see the enormous talent of [co-directors] Mark Neveldine and Bryan Taylor, that they were able to accomplish that,” Cage said.

While Cage has bowed out, he does have Tokarev on the horizon, and he also acknowledged that another film in the series might happen wondering if a female Ghost Rider would be an interesting change of pace.

How about it: would you go for a new Ghost Rider, and what do you think of Cage’s idea to put a female in the lead role? Which actor or actress would you cast?