With the coming onslaught of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, not to mention the Spider-Man reborquel, it’s easy to forget that there are other comic book properties out there that are on the horizon. For the most part, they’re the cast-offs and the lesser-knowns, and no two films represent that more than Ghost Rider and Judge Dredd. Both are properties I have some affection for, and both are properties that were adapted into utterly horrid films. Much like Daredevil and The Punisher, they’re gritty, dark and lesser-read comics that are aimed at a more mature audience, that were made into films that were targeted at a far wider group, dumbed down and eventually ruined by poor acting, direction, and writers who had no understanding or respect for the characters.
Which is what makes the eventual sequels an interesting subject. Daredevil continues to languish, with hints of a remake floating around occasionally. The Punisher has been made three times, and all three were awful, although at least the most recent one captured the tone, and likely cast the right man (Ray Stevenson) for it, even if the film itself was garbage. So what are we to do with Ghost Rider, which was horrendously cheesified by Nicolas Cage and director Mark Steven Johnson (who also butchered Daredevil) and Judge Dredd, which was… I don’t even have the words to explain the vomit-pasted shitpile that film was. All I know is that Rob Schneider was in it, and that’s really all you need to say on the subject.
ANYWAY, we’ve got a sequel to Ghost Rider coming, directed by the glorious lunatics who brought us the Crank franchise. They’re claiming it’ll be darker and wilder, and I’m hoping that’s true. I know it’s almost a guarantee that it won’t be worse, as that defies the laws of man and God. Anyway, here are the first official pics from the flick, via Empire:
All I’ll say is that Cage’s hair looks less ridiculous, I’m glad Elba is getting work, and the Ghost Rider looks far less clunky than it did in the first film.
As for Judge Dredd, I’m far more optimistic. It stars Karl Urban, it’s directed by Pete Travis, who is hit-or-miss, and it’s supposedly going to be far more faithful to the source material, both in story and in tone. And most critically, the fucking helmet stays on. Here are some new pics, again via Empire, featuring Urban in full regalia, Olivia Thrilby as psychic Judge recruit Cassandra Anderson, and Lena Headey as the big bad, Madeline ‘Ma-Ma’ Madrigal:
Clearly, they’ve stripped down the uniforms a good bit, which is sort of necessary, as the comic book depictions are gaudy and a bit ridiculous in real life. But I like the feel of it. It looks right. Fuck it, I’m in.