We're now two films in to the Ghost Rider movie franchise, and many fans are still disappointed that Johnny Blaze has yet to get the R-rated treatment. But it's not like people haven't tried.
Drive Angry creators Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier wrote 23 pages of R-rated Rider awesome only to have Marvel turn them down, but now you can read for yourself the Rider flick that might have been.
Back when Farmer and Lussier were pitching Drive Angry (which would eventually star Ghost Rider himself, Nicolas Cage) to studios, they impressed Ghost Rider producer Michael De Luca so much that he not only agreed to produce the flick but also offered them a chance to put together a Ghost Rider sequel.
"We said yes with much enthusiasm," Farmer wrote on his blog. "So Mike set a meeting with (Marvel Studios founder) Avi Arad that we might meet and discuss the franchise. And we had a blast. We met Avi and his son Ari (who sat with me and Tom Jane during the My Bloody Valentine premiere). We talked superheroes and what made Ghost Rider different. We talked through what Vilains we could legally draw from. It was a perfect meeting."
Farmer and Lussier went to work on a treatment that took the Rider to Europe in search of the seven skulls of previous Riders. It's a brief document (23 pages), but you can definitely tell that this would have been a much edgier Ghost Rider than what we saw in the first flick.
"When we returned we were pumped. We had nailed it," Farmer said. "It may seem arrogant to say that but DUH. Isn't that the point? Why would you ever go back if you didn't think you nailed it? During the initial chit chat I said something along the lines of, 'We know there are several entities involved here but we think we've found a story that fulfills everyone's concerns.' Avi then informed me that there was only one entity that mattered. Everyone laughed. I gulped."
In the end, despite a positive response from both De Luca and Sony Pictures, Arad was the one who shot the flick down, deeming it "too violent."
"Hate not getting the job but I'll take TOO VIOLENT as the reason any day of the week," Farmer said.
You'll never see the flick, but you can read the full Ghost Rider 2: Riders on the Storm pitch right here.
(Wendago via Comic Book Movie)