Hey folks, Harry here. Upon seeing the recent announcement about GHOST RIDER being attached to Stephen Norrington with David Goyer writing and Avi Arad producing and no studio attached... I got real curious real quick. I've been a reader of GHOST RIDER since the Marvel Spotlight days, and the character has one of the absolute cinematically cool looks... of any comic character out there. When I saw that the budget was some... $70 million dollars, I was like... HOLY CRAP, they're really really serious on this one. Damn. And I mean that. Norrington and crew can so do everything that needs to be done in a GHOST RIDER movie for that budget... now ya couldn't do a super cool FANTASTIC FOUR movie for that budget, but GHOST RIDER can sooooo be done right. So, I decided to drop Stephen an email to get caught up on what he was up to.
The last time he and I had heard what was up with him, Sister Satan had spied upon him working on an indie film of his in the heart of LIGHTSTORM ENTERTAINMENT. (Click Here To Read What He Was Up To) And I had heard that the effects tests that Norrington was having various effects companies do as a bid to do the effects on BROTHER TERMITE had gone great. But what does GHOST RIDER do to that? Does he do GHOST RIDER instead of BROTHER TERMITE for James Cameron... or ... well you know, WHAT'S UP?
Norrington was good enough to respond with his thoughts about where the various projects on his plate are. And folks... you better believe we'll be keeping our eyes on what Norrington is up to.... Now, heeeeere's Stephen...
We're planning a slight reinvention of the character, making him more mythic, more archetypal, less like Spawn, less biker-movie -- he will still have the bike, the flaming skull etc. but those elements will emerge organically from the story, rather than be the point of the story -- this is a movie that will favor atmosphere and complex characters (and make-up effects and BIG STUNTS!) over CGI (although we have some great CG visuals in store for the flaming skull stuff!). It will also be a movie about (in Goyer's words) "propulsion...". At heart, what interests me is Johnny Blaze's never-ending quest -- As the Spirit of Vengeance, he must walk the Earth forever searching for a way to lift the curse upon him -- of course, along the way he gets mixed up in all sorts of trouble...
We're close to a shooting script -- Goyer and I and Avi Arad have been hashing out the details of the story over the last few weeks. As to Johnny Depp -- I've heard he's interested too. He'd be a perfect choice, thus we are endeavoring to get together with him sometime in the near future.
THE LAST MINUTE
My indie movie is nearly finished. Because we don't have much money, I'm personally doing a large portion of the post-production -- I'm picture editing, sound editing, sound effects editing and music editing, all on my Avid at lightstorm -- that's why it's taken a long time and you know what? I've never been happier! It's a very personal movie, from a script I wrote and I got to do it exactly the way I liked -- it really helped me develop as a filmmaker -- I am grateful to Matt Justice (my producing partner), and Hooman Majd and Chris Blackwell, two executive producers who greenlit the picture on my terms, making it possible for me to have the all-time dream filmmaking experience. And I think it's a good movie too!
Now that The Last Minute is winding down, this project is gathering momentum (I can only do one at a time!). The script is real good (John Sayles turned in his polish last week), the effects techniques are nailed and ready to go and we have a real classy wishlist cast that we plan to pursue. There are still some logistical and budgetary steps to be taken, but, barring the unforseen, these should be completed shortly. Then we will be ready to start pre-production...
I'm still working on two screenplays -- GODHEAD and SUPERGRAVITY, and I'm in the process of developing a gigantic action franchise with my producer buddy, Jon Jashni. So it's all going on. Now I've just got to get these atmospheric sound effects finished for reel 8...
Thanks for asking.