Why Was Nicolas Cage Sony’s Only Option for Ghost Rider?

Sometimes casting choices don’t make a lot of sense to the audience, especially since those that have read the comics in the past might not be able to make the connection between the actor that’s been selected and the character they’re playing. Nicolas Cage was kind of an odd choice for Johnny Blaze to be fair, though he did a decent job in the first Ghost Rider movie no matter what critics or fans want to think. It’s true that he wasn’t absolutely perfect, but the transition from the comics to the movies has never been perfect and probably won’t be in every case since there will always be someone out there who will say that one thing or another isn’t right and that they’re mixing or missing too many elements from the original character. But if people are going to be honest, if the originals were the measuring stick being used for selecting actors for certain roles, they might not like what they would see. From the actors that might actually fit the description to the costumes, a lot of characters have actually been improved quite a bit since thinking about the old costumes is kind of hilarious. 

When talking about Ghost Rider, whose popularity is still going strong today, there isn’t much to be done since a leather jacket, heavy-duty pants and boots, his chain, and his bike are all that he really needs. Despite the cost of the bike, Ghost Rider would be one of the cheapest heroes to become, though the one price that most people wouldn’t pay would be their soul since that sounds a little steep. But the reason for Cage being the only person ever considered for the Rider apparently has more to do with the idea that he was set on becoming the character and wanted to give it everything he had. That’s a worthy reason I suppose, but when it came to looking like Johnny Cage, who was a blonde in the comics, it would appear that the movie fell a bit short. Plus, the villain in the story, Blackheart, played by Wes Bentley, wasn’t exactly convincing. 

Had Cage been pit against someone a little more formidable, or had Blackheart been given a bump in his abilities, it might have been a little more impressive. But the biggest issue that Cage had in the movie, as Johnny, was dealing with his personal life, since handling demons didn’t really appear to be that hard. Even when it looked like he might have been in trouble, he fought back and kicked the hell out of his opponents without much effort at all. Even Blackheart wasn’t such a huge challenge, since he blew him apart and then used the Penance Stare on him when he regained his form. The only real danger came before Blackheart had absorbed so many evil souls that became his weakness. When he had no soul, he was nearly untouchable and could actually give the Rider a hard time. But with the extra baggage of the many souls he’d absorbed, he was an easy target. 

That’s one of the biggest gripes about this movie really, since the Ghost Rider, a being that’s possessed of such unimaginable power, was given a lower-tier villain to fight against when going up against Mephisto or one of the many other villains that he’s known to fight against could have made things a lot different. Lilith might have been a better choice for his villainous adversary, or perhaps one of Lilith’s children, but Blackheart fell a little flat, to be honest. As far as casting Nicolas Cage goes, it wasn’t the worst casting in the history of the comic book movies, since Cage did put on an amusing show. It’s too bad that The Spirit of Vengeance, the second Ghost Rider movie, didn’t really live up to the dubious reputation of the first one, since it tanked in a big way, and Cage stated that he wouldn’t do a third. Whoever takes on the next version of this hero is going to have to be able to bring it just as convincingly as Cage did, if not more so, since it’s bound to happen that we’ll see the Rider come back eventually. 

If the Rider does come back though it’s fair to say that the story needs to be something that will keep people interested and perhaps focus less on his origin and more on the actual time spent as the Ghost Rider in order to get people on board and keep them there. Plus, the more the hero interacts with the rest of the MCU, the better since despite being a bit of a loner, the Ghost Rider has worked with other heroes now and then and the effort has been highly enjoyable in the comics. 

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