Ghost on the machine

“We’re describing it as Once Upon A Time In The West meets a Hammer film,” says director Mark Steven Johnson, who’s just wrapped shooting comic-book horror-thriller Ghost Rider. “It’s going to be kick-ass!”

After years in development hell, the tale of legendary stunt biker Johnny Blaze and his deal with the Devil (which sees him cursed to become Hell’s bounty hunter) is racing to screens courtesy of star Nic Cage and Daredevil helmer Johnson. “Blaze, besides having the whole Hellcycle, flaming skull and spiked jacket look, can shoot fireballs and carries a Hellfire shotgun,” continues Johnson. “And there’s the Penance Stare, where he looks into your eyes and you feel all the sins you inflicted on others come back on you tenfold. He doesn’t need to kill; it’s a fate worse than death!”

After Daredevil’s uneven critical reception, this is Johnson’s second chance to get it right first time – and he’s grabbing it by the throat. “Absolutely. It’s not like I shot a bunch of stuff that was going to be in an unrated director’s cut. It’ll be a 15, but our hero has the flesh blowing off his skull. It’s intense. Really intense.”

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