Okay. So, I've been looking and I haven't found any confirmed information about a third Ghost Rider movie. However, word is pretty strong that Nicolas Cage does have interest in doing another one. Before Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance came out, it sounds as if all the producers needed to go ahead with another movie was a decent return on that investment. Now, did they get the return they were looking for? That's a tough question to ask. The first Ghost Rider movie made somewhere in the neighborhood of I believe 250 million dollars. And Spirit of Vengeance made a little less than 150 million. However, the first movie had a budget of over a hundred million dollars too. And the second film only had a budget of around fifty million which really isn't much these days. So, even though they made less money over all, the second movie nearly tripled what was put into it. The argument could reasonably be made that if another movie were made, it would be profitable enough to warrant the production. Also, this is just what it grossed in the theater. That doesn't count video rental, dvd purchases, merchandise such as toys, etc. So, there's more money in there than it appears I'm sure. And that's a big factor in whether or not there's really a point to this article. That being said, we're going to go on from this point as if there IS going to be another movie. personally, I really like the character and would like to see another movie myself.
There needs to be more consistency though. If you've seen the first movie and the second, you'll know that there is a lot more difference between them than just their budgets. We see a change in tone, pacing, special effects, and casting with the sole exception being Nicolas Cage. I'm perfectly happy seeing Cage as Johnny Blaze for one big reason. He seems to be dedicated to the character. That's some times hard to come by when it comes to good actors (and yes, I do consider Cage a good actor. some people are just a little too judgemental) and comic book based movies. It seems to me that with the second movie, the producers or director or whoever really wanted to push the envelope in terms of adult content compared to the first film. There isn't nudity or anything like that, but that's probably the one thing they didn't do. It seems a bit more graphic in that we're seeing a bit more gore I think and definitely a focus on more foul language at times. Still, with this seemingly more adult theme, there are goofy moments which don't really add to the overall feel, but detract from it. You can read a full review on the second movie here.
The first movie by contrast, was every inch a big budget movie. It was bright and funny at times and had actors such as Sam Elliot and Eva Mendes. Still, I thought it got a much worse wrap than it deserved. These origin stories can be a tough business man. And some fans just will never be satisfied. We had really strong special effects in both movies, but also really different in the way they were done. Personally, I liked them better in the first one, but I think a lot of that has to do with two things really. First is that I really didn't like the disjointed way they had Ghost Rider moving around and twitching seemingly constantly. The second reason was that if we ever got to see the penance stare which is so prevelant in the first movie, you couldn't tell. Instead of giving us a cool special effect that showed us what was happening to the person the Rider was punishing, we just got him staring for a long time and cocking his head back and forth. He seemed a bit creepy maybe, but that was about it. They did a much better job with at least that part in the first movie. And you can see a full review on that one here.
Now all the production and graphics from the first two movies aside, where can we expect a third movie to go story wise? Well, we saw the seeds of a new plot point toward the end of Spirit of Vengeance. There's a good, but somewhat insane, angel inside Johnny Blaze and not a simple demon with a taste for tarnished souls. That means that maybe there's a big part of the Ghost Rider that wants to do the right thing and just doesn't know for sure how to go about that anymore. Another cool thing we saw was that Ghost Rider is also apparently capable of healing people. So, maybe some new powers. People who've followed the comics will know about kind of another version of Ghost Rider who is actually called "Vengeance" and inhabits the body of Danny Ketch (whom I was under the impression at the time that the kid in Spirit of Vengeance was supposed to represent, but I'm not entirely certain now). In the comics, Ketch is I believe a half brother of Johnny Blaze. I don't recall all the details of how Danny got himself linked to Vengeance, but it would make for an interesting movie whether the two were on opposing sides or maybe even working together. They've done both in the comics.
Going back to the angel angle, there are plenty of other powerful angels with not so nice agendas in the comics who would pose worthy threats to Ghost Rider. This could be a good reason to team Ghost Rider with Vengeance and have the two fight against a more powerful force. This would most likely call for a butt load of awesome special effects though and may need a bigger budget than Spirit of Vengeance had, but I also think that if done right and if marketed right, it could make a big profit for investors. We can only hope that some studio exec somewhere is thinking something similar. One thing I don't think we need is for the devil to be the main villain again. Ghost Rider can fight against more than one guy even if he is the essence of evil in the minds of most people. It gets old. You don't have Lex Luthor be the main villain in every Superman story or movie for a reason.
Another option the producers/ writers may want to take is that of Johnny/Ghost Rider dying, going to Hell, and having to escape and save humanity from some new threat (like the angels I mentioned earlier). This is another cool thing they did in the comics a few years back. And it is ever so briefly hinted at in the first movie when Johnny Blaze/ Ghost Rider is referred to as the only one who can walk in both worlds. They didn't explain that at all really, but in the comics he's called that, because for some reason he can actually apparently come and go as he pleases from Hell. In fact, the devil piggy backs a ride with the Ghost Rider when he escapes from Hell in the comics and it's quite a task for the rider trying to put that particular genie back in it's bottle. The point is that there are still plenty of awesome stories that they can use to give us a better movie than in either of the previous entries to the series. Keep Cage. He's a good fit for the character and what's more, he seems to like it. But focus on a good story with worthy opponents and good action. Then, I think we'll have something we'll all enjoy seeing in the theater.