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Spirit of Vengeance director regrets not making R-rated Ghost Rider, calls S.H.I.E.L.D. take 'vanilla'

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Mar 7, 2018

Back in Season 4, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider, played by Gabriel Luna (with a short cameo appearance by Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze in one episode). The fiery character was an instant hit with fans —except for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance director Brian Taylor, who also expressed regrets at not making an R-rated version of the movie.

Taylor, who co-directed the sequel to 2007’s Ghost Rider with Mark Neveldine, recently spoke with Flickering Myth, where he basically dissed the Marvel TV series' take on the comic book character.

“They’ve brought that character back on TV now and he looks like the clean, vanilla, G-rated character again,” Taylor said. “That version really has no interest for me, but I do think a scary, rated-R, horror superhero movie is an awesome thing that should be done and I wish that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance had been it.”

Starring Nicholas Cage in the role of Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance opened in movie theaters to very poor reviews in 2011, with a rating of 17 percent on site aggregator Rotten Tomatoes (the first movie sits at 26 percent). Then, two years later, the rights reverted back to Marvel (in 2013) who then chose Robbie Reyes as the live action incarnation of Ghost Rider for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s acclaimed fourth season.

Taylor also opened up on what went wrong with Spirit of Vengeance, explaining that David Goyer’s original script was more "hardcore" than the panned PG-13 movie we ended up with.

“The original script that David Goyer wrote for that movie, which was actually written almost a decade before the first Ghost Rider film, was a hardcore, rated-R horror script and it was awesome,” Taylor explained. “Then, in the time between that and the second movie, the script had been rewritten literally 14 times or 16 times or something like that to the point where it was kind of a mess. It was also just a little too clean and a little too restrained. If we had had the opportunity to do the original, rated-R Goyer script, I think that movie would’ve been a classic.”

Do you agree with Taylor’s comments on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s version of Ghost Rider? Would you have liked to have seen Goyer’s R-rated version of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance? Considering how generally bad the movie was, it’s certainly intriguing to imagine how much better Goyer’s script would have turned out on the big screen had it been made.

(via Flickering Myth)