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'Ghost Rider' Helmer Mark Steven Johnson Somehow Still Getting Work, Attached To Direct 'Autobahn'

by Oliver Lyttelton
August 4, 2011 1:25 AM
2 Comments
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There are many, many bad directors who keep somehow finding big movies to direct: McG, Brett Ratner, Scott Stewart. But one of the most baffling is Mark Steven Johnson. The rare example of a filmmaker who seems to get worse rather than better, he started off, after penning the likes of "Grumpy Old Men" and "Jack Frost," by directing the sickly "Simon Birch." He then landed the big job of helming Fox's "Daredevil" -- no great shakes, but "Hiroshima Mon Amour" compared to his next superhero flick, "Ghost Rider." Last year, he proved there was no genre that he couldn't suck at by being the man behind the joyless, lifeless Kristen Bell rom-com "When In Rome."

Somehow, however, the offers keep rolling in, and Heat Vision report that the helmer is now attached to the Euro-thriller "Autobahn," which involves, and we're not fucking with you, an ex-Formula One driver who wakes up inside a BMW on the German no-speed-limit motorway of the title, and told he has 90 minutes to deliver a bomb or his family will be murdered. Five will get you ten that at some point during the pitching process, the phrase " 'Speed' meets 'Taken' '' was mentioned.

The script comes from rising writer Greg Russo, and Inferno Entertainment are backing the film, having moved the setting to Germany, and changing the title from "I-95," to better appeal to an international audience. Remarkably, Nicolas Cage isn't already attached, with the company hoping to cast a star before selling distribution rights at the American Film Market in November. So there's still time for that happen.

In the right hands, we suppose this could be frills-free fun, but Johnson is definitely not the right hands, for this or really any other movie. Still, it's happening, and maybe it'll be a good excuse to put some Kraftwerk on the soundtrack...

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2 Comments

  • SK | September 11, 2012 5:35 PMReply

    Let's just see how you do writing a film, selling it to a major studio, producing it, directing it, and then having said movie gross a quarter of a billion dollars. This guy's laughing all the way to the bank. He may be a mediocre director, but this guy gets things going, he doesn't get "attached to direct" and he doesn't "land jobs", he MAKES the jobs.

    Best of luck writing your column.

  • JP | August 4, 2011 2:35 AMReply

    Sucks he's directing, as you said, this sounds like it could be a pretty awesome bit of stupid fun.

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