With the Marvel/Disney deal looming, the race is on for studios to secure properties. Variety is reporting that Columbia Pictures is working on a sequel to Ghost Rider, with David Goyer reportedly in talks to create the story, as well as supervise additional writers for the film. Nicolas Cage is expected to reprise his starring role as Johnny Blaze.
The resurrection of Ghost Rider as a franchise comes in the middle of negotiations with other Marvel characters at Sony, Fox, Universal and Paramount. Studios must move on these properties now if they want to retain the rights to their Marvel superheroes. If the properties languish, Marvel Entertainment can reclaim the rights to those characters. This is exactly what happened with the Dr. Strange, Black Panther and Iron Man properties. Iron Man languished in development hell at New Line before Marvel turned the property into a self-financed blockbuster last year. And we all know how well that went.
Although Goyer stated through a spokesman, that he has not officially signed on to a second Ghost Rider, plans are already under way to base the sequel on a script Goyer penned years ago. Goyer’s, superhero work includes successful screen transfers of DC’s Batman Begins and Marvel’s Blade franchise.
Columbia isn’t the only one getting in on the properties action. Fox plans to reboot Fantastic Four with Green Lantern scribe Michael Green; develop a Wolverine sequel and other X-Men spinoffs; a Silver Surfer film; and a revamped version of Daredevil.
Sony recently tapped James Vanderbilt to pen the fifth and sixth installments of the Spider-Man series, and Universal is continuing work on Sub-Mariner. Paramount will continue to be the distributor for Iron Man 2 and are also expected to distribute the upcoming Thor and Captain America flicks.