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GHOST RIDER

About The Cast
Nicolas Cage has been a fan of "Ghost Rider” since its inception. "I remember having the first issue of 'Ghost Rider' and looking at it and wondering what it was all about,” he says. "It was complicated and scary and exciting, all at the same time."

Cage's interest continued as an adult. "I would bike all the time out in the canyons of Malibu,” he says. "So I was very interested in the idea of bringing whatever motorcycle abilities I may have had at the time to this movie. Five years went by and I stopped riding motorcycles, but then the film became a reality and I got back into it again. The main thing that kept me going was my fascination with motorcycles. They are marvelous creatures."

Cage's fascination with the role goes beyond his love of two-wheeled vehicles to the character's dramatic potential and distinctive visual appeal: "He is also, in my opinion, the coolest-looking of all the superheroes. It doesn't get any better than a motorcycle stunt cyclist dressed head to toe in black leather with a flaming skull for a head."

"Nic has an incredible range as an actor,” says Arad. "That's important for this character, a man that carries a terrible burden. Nic makes a commitment to the role, the depth of the character, and because of that, he takes chances.”

"Nic was always our only choice for the role,” says Johnson. "He has been close to doing a number of comic book movies, but this is the one he's always wanted to make most of all. And he's perfect for the role. He even dresses like Johnny Blaze! He brought a lot of himself into the character.”

Among the idiosyncratic touches Cage added is the stunt rider's preference for jellybeans and the music of Karen Carpenter over Jack Daniel's and death metal. "Unexpected choices like that set him apart from all the other characters you've seen in movies like this,” observes Johnson.

"It's fun to watch Nic Cage work,” says Foster. "He's a leading man, he's dramatic, he's funny, he's off-center, he's not afraid to try things. These are all the things that make him a great actor and a movie star and fit with the character perfectly.”

"Johnny is, ironically, a very good person," says Cage. "In my mind he's always trying to stay calm and do whatever he can not to succumb to the Devil. He knows that even one slip-up will mean a phone call from the wrong guy."

Cage describes Johnny's alter-ego, Ghost Rider, as an "inexorable force" rather than a person. "He's more like a hurricane that comes at you if you have done anything against the innocent. He is a spirit of vengeance. He uses a chain or the power of hellfire, but the most devastating thing he does is the Penance Stare; just by looking at you, he can make you relive every sin you've committed, everything wrong you've done, a million times over. Whatever pain you have inflicted on your victims, he will give you that pain back a hundred, a thousand times over."

"We all try to run away from our evil deeds, but the Ghost Rider – with his Penance Stare – reminds us that the evil we do is revisited back on us,” says Arad, who until recently served as CEO of Marvel. "The Ghost Rider's powers are unique – some of the most clever in the Marvel universe.”

Once Cage was cast, the filmmakers turned their attention to finding the right actress to play Roxanne Simpson. This was of key importance, according to Johnson, because the heart of the film is a love story. "It's about how far you would go for love,” he says. "It's also about the decisions we make and about second chances. There are a lot of positive themes in the guise of an action-adventure.”

That essential conflict – a star-crossed romance between a lovely girl and a man turned into a monster by an evil curse – prompts the filmmakers to compare "Ghost Rider's” storyline to the classic "Be

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