'Spirit Of Vengeance' Co-Star Idris Elba Says He Would Love To Play 'Power Man' Character Luke Cage

Bookended by a title card that read “fucking your shit up in 3D February 2012,” the "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" footage showcased co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's particularly physical style of filmmaking. Both filmmakers ran cameras simultaneously in certain shots, Taylor held on to moving motorcycles wearing only rollerblades as he filmed the action, and the two of them generally disregarded their personal safety as they shot some fairly epic action sequences. When asked whether they’ve ever been hurt, Neveldine knocked on the table and said, “Nope – and we would never ask stunt men or actors to do anything we wouldn’t do.” They added that they always try to include any shots where stunt men injure themselves, as a tribute to their efforts: “You will see real bones breaking in this movie,” Taylor said.

Moderator Ralph Garman introduced the attending members of the cast – Nicolas Cage, who reprises his role as Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider, and newcomers Johnny Whitworth and Idris Elba. Sony then showed what looked like a theatrical trailer, where Ghost Rider got a lot more screen time than any other character, including Cage. Unlike the previous film, 'Spirit of Vengeance' has a much darker tone, appropriately visceral and intense -- as Neveldine and Taylor’s films always are. Afterward, Garman asked Cage what it was like returning to this role for a second time.

“I loved it,” he said. “I loved working with Mark and Brian and the actors we have here. It was a chance to go in a whole different direction with 'Ghost Rider.' The fact that Brian said it’s really important that you play 'Ghost Rider' himself, which I didn’t get to do on the other movie, gave me a chance to play with movement. To give you something a little bit scary and entertaining from another dimension.”

Taylor explained why they chose to follow up their "Crank" films and "Gamer" with a studio tentpole like 'Ghost Rider.' “We think 'Ghost Rider' is one of the most badass characters of all time,” he said simply. “He makes absolutely no sense at all. He’s not really a superhero – more like a horror character. His power is he sucks out your soul. That’s insane. So the madness and the nightmarish quality as much as the action were the things that drew us to it."

When asked what character he would want to play if he had his choice of any in comic-dom, Cage said resolutely, “ 'Ghost Rider,' because I just did. But I always appreciated the monsters more. I felt for them and I liked their complexity. And in a day and age when they’re making superhero movies all of the time, all the superheroes are pretty good guys and you need a couple of bad boys in there too. Ghost Rider provides that.” He went on to explain what drew him back to the franchise: “I had more to say, and I wanted to go in a scarier direction,” he said. “The first one was more like a Grimm’s fairy tale. In this one I really wanted to embrace the nightmare aspect, and hopefully scare you and entertain you at the same time.”

Meanwhile, Idris Elba said that if he had the chance, he’d love to play Marvel character Luke Cage. "I’m proud to be part of the 'Thor' story and so far that’s where my roots are laid, but if there was an opportunity to pursue another character it would definitely be Luke Cage because there’s so much I could do with that. We just need to know that people want to see it happen.”

'Ghost Rider 2' was shot in 3D, and Neveldine explained why he liked using the technology so much. “I think it's great for this type of movie,” he said. “What we wanted to do with 'Ghost Rider' is really immerse you in this crazy, insane world, and this is the best way to capture 'Ghost Rider.' " When asked whether he would return to 'Ghost Rider' for another film, he offered a resounding, “hell yes!” Taylor added, “Making this movie with these guys was so much fun and such a rush, and we’re so happy with the vision we’ve brought to life, there’s nothing that would be more fun than doing this again.” -- Todd Gilchrist