An R-rated Ghost Rider movie could have happened and, according to director Brian Taylor, it might have been pretty great. Unfortunately, Taylor went on to direct Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, which is easily one of the worst comic book movie sequels ever made. But the movie started life as a screenplay more than a decade prior in an age long before Deadpool made R-rated comic book movies a very profitable proposition for studios. A crazy amount of rewrites ultimately destroyed what could have been.
This was all revealed by Brian Taylor in a recent interview. As he tells it, Ghost Rider should be presented in R-rated form and the original Spirit of Vengeance script, which was written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Blade), was very much the version of the character that fans deserve to see. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I think that Ghost Rider should be a rated-R, horror character. The original script that David Goyer wrote for that movie, which was actually written almost a decade before the first Ghost Rider film, was a hardcore, rated-R horror script and it was awesome. Then, in the time between that and the second movie, the script had been rewritten literally 14 times or 16 times or something like that to the point where it was kind of a mess. It was also just a little too clean and a little too restrained. If we had had the opportunity to do the original, rated-R Goyer script, I think that movie would've been a classic."
David S. Goyer has been credited on a ton of comic book movies, with mixed results, but the dude has talent. Maybe this R-rated Ghost Rider would have been awesome. Fans of the character got a pretty solid version via Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which helped fuel desire for more in the MCU. Brian Taylor, while discussing some of what he thinks they did well with his movie, went so far as to say that the version of the movie that should have been would have been even better than the "vanilla" version that showed up on the ABC series.
"I think the cast was really good and I think we got a lot of things right. I think the design of the character was fantastic. The way we did Ghost Rider as a tar-bubbling, black, charred creature was absolutely the right take on Ghost Rider. They've brought that character back on TV now and he looks like the clean, vanilla, G-rated character again. That version really has no interest for me, but I do think a scary, rated-R, horror superhero movie is an awesome thing that should be done and I wish that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance had been it."
For now, there's no telling when Ghost Rider will show up next in the MCU. TV seems like a much more logical route, but who knows? Maybe Marvel will surprise us and finally do a proper movie reboot in Phase 4 of the MCU. But that doesn't seem like a safe bet at this point. Unfortunately, we only have the Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider movies which, quite frankly, just aren't good. This news comes to us courtesy of Flickering Myth.