"Doggarnit. People like me."
Insiders confirm to Vulture that Columbia is facing a ticking clock on the rights to the BBQ-skulled Marvel Comics character: Legally, if the studio isn’t in production on a sequel by November 14, 2010, the franchise automatically reverts to Marvel — which means the comic company’s new owner, Disney.
Insiders tell us that Columbia is asking Marvel for an extension. (Asking, pleading, it’s a fine line.) But time is running out. Cage has spoken about his desire to make a second Ghost Rider; the issue is whether his schedule will be free before the deadline. Disney is also hoping to get him for a third National Treasure with Jerry Bruckheimer, which could be shooting as early as this fall and would presumably earn the star a hefty paycheck. And considering Cage’s well-documented money troubles, that cash may trump his deep love of comic books.
A Ghost Rider without Nicolas Cage wouldn’t feel like a Ghost Rider film at all. That would be like The Punisher without Thomas Jane, or The Hulk without Eric Bana, or Iron Man without Terrence Howard. I can’t even imagine a world where such travesties would be allowed.