Columbia Pictures wants to move forward with "Ghost Rider 2" that they could go on even if Nicolas Cage cannot fulfill his duty by the end of this year, New York Magazine reports. The actor is indeed attached to the upcoming project, tentatively titled "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance", and has expressed his interest to reprise his role as Johnny Blaze, but the studio needs to do it within this year.
Columbia has a strong reason why they have to be in rush with the sequel to 2007 "Ghost Rider". They have to get a film in production by November 14 or the right to the franchise automatically reverts to Marvel and its new owner, Disney.
The issue is, Cage is also expected to return to Disney's "National Treasure 3" which may shoot as early as this fall and may offer him bigger paycheck. Considering his recently-exposed financial trouble, the 46-year-old is likely to choose the follow-up to "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" instead of "Ghost Rider" sequel, New York Magazine further suggests.
Back in January, producer Michael De Luca has given some updates on the second film. Confirming that Mark Steven Johnson will not return to the directing duty and Eva Mendes will not reprise her role as Roxanne Simpson, he also suggests that the upcoming action thriller will take place in Europe.