In addition to checking out the new Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance footage screened at New York Comic Con, io9 had the opportunity to chat with Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
The guys told us about fiery mining equipment, the supervillain Blackout's new look, and the hellfire ladies of the night who didn't make the final cut.
At San Diego Comic Con, you guys promised that mining equipment would turn demonic whenever Ghost Rider took the wheel. How does one design hellspawn mining equipment?
Mark Neveldine: It was German engineering, actually.
Brian Taylor: You basically standard mining equipment, add eight or nine shots of tequila, and it begins to talk shape. The idea is that anything he rides becomes hellfire.
What was the dynamic on-set between Nicolas Cage (Johnny Blaze) and Idris Elba (Moreau the drunken monk)?
Brian Taylor: That's two awesome individuals going head-to-head. I think there was a little bit of one-upsmanship between these two really powerful personalities. They definitely brought the best out in each other, and you could definitely feel they both had to be on their A-plus game when the other guy was working.
Spirit of Vengeance was shot in Cappadocia, a very visually striking region of Turkey. What sequences did you film there?
Mark Neveldine: It's this mystical place where he goes to get the demon exorcised from his body and soul.
Brian Taylor: It's where the church behind the church lies.
Mark Neveldine: It looks like it's in the real world, but it's nothing you've ever seen before. We've never seen Cappadocia in film before, even though it's possibly the most spectacular place you've ever seen. Nobody shoots there. This will be the first time I can think of.
Mark Neveldine: It came out of our ADD, our low-budget filmmaking, where you're desperate and have to be incredibly creative because you have no money. You just have to find ways to shoot, some times we shot on rollerblades, sometimes we shot hanging out of cars. We found a style and a lensing that we really liked. We stuck with it because it worked for us — we love that in-camera feeling.
And you maintained this guerilla approach for Ghost Rider?
Mark Neveldine: All the time — we shot hanging off of wires off of cliffs, rollerblading behind motorcycles and tow trucks on highways in the middle of Turkey.
Brian Taylor: You could tell when something's CG. Even if it's really cool, you feel a little safe watching it. The theory that we've always gone by is to put the camera in dangerous places. Every shoot's a series of close calls. We had a couple injuries, a couple airlifts, but it all got on screen and should be fun to watch.
Mark Neveldine: We sent some men to hospitals in Turkey.
Could you give us a little background on your depiction of the villain Blackout?
Brian Taylor: You can see him a little bit in the teaser. He's loosely based on Blackout from the comics, but we've expanded on him a little bit. We gave him some new powers and abilities he didn't have in the comic, but really at the heart of it is a really weird, fucked-up performance by Johnny Whitworth.
Mark Neveldine: No CG for the character. We worked with [make-up artist] Christien Tinsley who worked on Crank 2 and Passion of the Christ. He went all prosthetics with Blackout, and he created this awesome-looking demon.
Speaking of Crank, when will we see Chev Chelios again? Crank: High Voltage ended with him in a weird place.
Brian Taylor: He ended kind of as Ghost Rider, actually. We have a lot of ideas for Crank 3. Some day it's going to happen, but like the apocalypse, there's no real prediction of when that's going to be!
Finally, were there any designs or concepts that were deemed too outlandish for Ghost Rider?
Mark Neveldine: The three-headed monk, I guess.
Brian Taylor: I'm probably going to talk about the, uh, flaming hookers.
No, please, tell us! We'd love to hear about that.
Brian Taylor: Well, anything he rides he turns into a hell-vehicle, so we figured that might work with a...
Mark Neveldine: A working woman. That might work with a hooker, hellified.
Wow. Did this make it to the concept art stages?
Mark Neveldine: It was part of a really elaborate pitch to the studio that didn't quite happen.
Brian Taylor: We lost horribly.
What was the reaction to that particular idea?
Mark Neveldine: It was like, "Interesting. Very creative, boys."
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens in theaters February 17. Bottom image via RedSpider2008.