Ghost Rider, Sky High, Batman Begins: The Comic Reel Wrap for May 24th

Tue, May 24th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

GHOST RIDER

Sci Fi Wire caught up with director Mark Steven Johnson, who talked about taking the original David Goyer script and making it more like the comics. "It's one of those things that there is no right or wrong to it," Johnson said. "He just chose a different story, and I really liked it. It just isn't the story that I was going to tell. So they're really completely different screenplays. I really like David's writing a lot, though. [I'm a] big fan of him. The fact that the devil made a deal with Johnny and gave him all these powers, and Johnny took those powers to go fight the devil, never quite added up. And so everybody over the years kept trying to solve that and change that. So it's kind of actually a faulty concept in a weird way. So that was odd. That's something that took me many, many months to finally crack it. And once I came up with the idea of the devil's bounty hunter, that there's rules in heaven and hell on Earth, [it made sense]. The idea is that Mephistopheles has to find the best rider in the world to become his Ghost Rider, that made sense to me. He has to give him this power, because he works for him. Then I got it. Then everything from there flowed. But at first it was tough."

They also caught up with Nicolas Cage, who said he was fine with the effects work on the Marvel adaptation. "I've always enjoyed working with effects," Cage said. "To me, it's just stimulating to be around it, to participate. ... After the production is finished shooting here, I want to go to where they're working on the effects and say hello and see what they're doing with all the painting and how they're going to make the fire work, because fire is, you probably know, the most difficult of all the digital effects to pull off. We've managed to really put a great deal of humor [in it]. That came naturally to me. I think that heavy material is inherently -- I know this is going to sound strange -- but it can lend itself very easily to humor. Because I think people, when they're in heavy occupations, you look at paramedics or cops, they have the blackest humor. But it's a way of coping with the situation."

SKY HIGH

Superhero Hype has photos of some character banners from the upcoming Disney superhero-themed film.

BATMAN BEGINS

Sci Fi Wire also has some quotes from actor Cillian Murphy, who credits his director Christopher Nolan with all Bat-related glory. "I'd been a fan of all his films ['Memento' and 'Insomnia'], and then, when I met him, we got on very well," Murphy said. "The way he pitched the film, the slant he was going to take on this, that all appealed to me. As a kid, I was a huge Batman fan and all that. I also felt like the franchise had been maybe damaged the last couple of movies, and I felt that if anybody could reinvest it with what it was originally about it, it would be someone like Chris Nolan." Allegedly, Murphy auditioned to play Batman, but got offered the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane instead. Playing a villain in these Batman movies, historically, they offer the actor great fun, and they're brilliant characters, because they've been around so long in the comic books. So all of those things factored into my wanting to be in 'Batman Begins.'"

Meanwhile, Superhero Hype has a press release about the soundtrack, "a unique collaboration between two of the screen's most honored and respected composers, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard."

QUIET ON THE SET

Slow news day, eh? If you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations or just want to give us a briefcase full of cash, no questions asked, drop us a line and let's coordinate. You can choose an alias if you'd like, or be mentioned by name -- we honor requests for anonymity. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, I don't know what happened with comics reviews, and "don't blame me, I'm drunk too!"

 
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