Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Cast
: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba Directors
: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor Genre
: Action, Fantasy, ThrillerSynopsis
: Johnny is still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - but he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks (Idris Elba) to save a young boy from the devil
and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Release Date
: March 15, 2012Website
Shooting in Romania and Turkey
Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance was filmed on location in Romania and Turkey. "Romania has an established film community," says E. Bennett Walsh, executive producer of the film. "They have been brought up on lower-budget Hollywood films - they've done thirty or forty films in the five-to-ten-million-dollar range, plus Cold Mountain, but that was the exception. They understood the systems of how we make our films. The difference between Cold Mountain and our film is that for Cold Mountain they brought in two hundred people from outside Romania. We brought in approximately 25 people and the rest were Romanians."
About the country and its film crew, Nicolas Cage found that "Romania has an energy, it has a buzz to it, and ours was a hardworking crew that did a really good job. These people care; they value their work."
The production of Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance was based in the Bucharest area, shooting a number of scenes on the sound stages and back lot of Castel Studios in Snagov. The crew also spent more than a month traveling and filming throughout scenic and historic central Romania (including parts of Transylvania).
"Shooting in Transylvania, we got those mountain roads, the majestic castle, and the grit we wanted for the Eastern European setting. Romania was perfect," says director Mark Neveldine.
The roads on which Moreau rides in the opening scene of the film and, later, Carrigan pursues Nadya and Danny after they escape from the monastery were shot on the hairpin turns of the Transfagarasan Highway, the most dramatic paved road in the country traversing the crest of the Fagaras Mountains. As winter and snowfalls approached soon after filming, the highway was closed to traffic until June. (Although it is not seen in the film, the ruins of Cetatea Poienari, the 15th century castle of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) are perched along the highway, a 1400-step climb from the production's base camp.)
One key scene was shot in a square in picturesque Sibiu, the largest and wealthiest of seven walled citadels built in the 12th century by German settlers (the Transylvanian Saxons). The beautiful city was designated a European Capital of Culture for 2007. A recently surfaced highway outside Sibiu that was not yet open to traffic is the location for another scene in which Blaze wins over Danny on the bed of Nadya's stolen truck.
Moreau's destination at the beginning of the film, where he will meet Nadya and Danny in the heavily-fortified monastery, was filmed at the Corvin Castle (also known as the Hunyadi Castle) in the city of Hunedoera (also located in Transylvania). The beautifully restored and maintained 14th-centrury Gothic fortress (complete with giant moat) is one of the most spectacular castles in the world.
Carrigan's near fatal encounter with the Ghost Rider was shot in a giant quarry outside of the city of Targu Jiu in southwestern Romania. Parts of the quarry sequence, including Carrigan's resurrection at the hands of Roarke, were shot on a set re-created on the backlot at Castel Studio outside of Bucharest.
From Romania, the production moved to Turkey. "I was there six years ago scouting on another film and thought, 'These locations are fantastic, I have to come back,'" says E. Bennett Walsh. "Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor wanted something entirely different for the third act to contrast the European locations where it was quintessentially lush. In Cappadocia and Pamukkale, color was drained from the earth and it felt ancient. This isn't a $500,000 set design with CGI augmentation - these fantastic locations are real."
"I was very excited about the palette of the movie," notes Production Designer Kevin Phipps. "It starts quite green and lush in Romania and as the journey proceeds on the road and down into Turkey there's a great kind of bleed-out of color."
Cappadocia hosted the shooting of the final encounters between the Ghost Rider and Carrigan/Blackout and Roarke. Nicolas Cage was very impressed with the country. "It was a completely new landscape for me - the rock formations of Cappadocia, where we filmed, are these spires of rocks containing rectangular windows without glass where people have lived for thousands of years. And within the Greek and Roman ruins there were thousands of these marble pieces atop one another, mountains of them, and we're working like it's a day at the office. Extraordinary! It is impossible to not be completely mystified and in awe."
The scenes in the Sanctuary, the lair of Methodius and his monks to which Moreau leads Blaze, Nadya and Danny were also filmed in the Zelve Open-Air Museum in Cappadocia, an ancient almost impossibly fantasy-like village that is honeycombed with cave dwellings, religious and secular chambers. Christians and Muslims lived here for hundreds of years (into the 20th Century).
Moving to Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey, the production shot the grand ceremony when Roarke intends to transfer his powers into Danny's body. The location was the ruins of Hierapolis, the ancient Greek, later Roman, then Christian city, built atop a system of hot springs. (Pamukkale means "cotton terraces," named for white travertine terraces created by the springs.) The specific site of the satanic ceremony is the well-preserved Roman amphitheatre dating from the 2nd Century AD.
Ciarán Hinds, who as Julius Caesar commanded Roman attention in the HBO series Rome, was impressed with the setting. "You stand in the center of this semi-circle arena and can be heard by everybody--you imagine a full house listening to the great ancient plays. Because I come from the theatre as well, it was a thrill to just stand there and absorb the atmosphere. It was beautiful, and beautifully taken care of-and here we are having some kind of weird Devil ceremony in it. That was quite fun."
Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance Interview - www.girl.com.au/ghost-rider-spirit-of-vegeance.htm