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Nicolas Cage, <i>Crank</i> Directors In Talks For <i>Ghost Rider</i> Sequel

Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are in early negotiations to helm Columbia's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Heat Vision reports.

Unsurprisingly, Nicolas Cage is in early talks to reprise his role as Johnny Blaze, the stunt motorcyclist turned fiery, leather-clad avenging spirit. As we reported two months ago, the studio is in a hurry to begin production on the sequel by November to prevent the rights from automatically reverting to Marvel. Back in April, there was talk that Columbia might push forward without the busy Cage so that it can beat the deadline, but apparently that's no longer the case.

Details of the script, written by FlashForward's Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman under the supervision of David S. Goyer, are being kept under wraps. Heat Vision notes that Neveldine and Taylor are writers -- they penned both Crank films, Gamer and Jonah Hex -- but it's unknown at this point whether they might rework the script.

The first Ghost Rider opened in February 2007 to almost universally terrible reviews -- it has a 26-percent approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes -- but went on to gross almost $230 million worldwide.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is produced by Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul, with Goyer and Mark Steven Johnson executive producing.

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