1. EXTERIOR – SOMEWHERE IN OLD-WEST TEXAS – NIGHT
We are in Texas. Somewhere. Good luck figuring out where though as the scenes will jump from deserts to costal plains to hills to big cities at random. It’s not anywhere near Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth or Austin – we can tell you that much. Suddenly, SAM ELLIOT – one of the first of many fine actors who is going to do things they are not proud of here – speaks.
SAM ELLIOT: The West was built on legends, but that’s got nothing to do with this movie... except maybe in the sense that comic book movies are also built on legends. Some soar to the Heavens and others Fall to the Earth. Some inspire us to better the world around us and others make us want to gnaw off our own limbs to escape the theater. Some stick very closely to the spirit of their source material and some are pseudo-Westerns made by Yankee pissants who never spent a day in Texas that wasn’t at a comic book convention. Which is this? It’s by the same man who made Daredevil and wrote Elektra. What the hell do you think?
2. EXTERIOR – SOMEWHERE IN NOT TOO DISTANT PAST TEXAS – DAY
We see an old fashioned carnival big-tent stunt show. In the crowd, a YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE looks on as YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE jumps through a flaming hoop.
DADDY BLAZE: She’s all bad for you son. Educated woman with all her teeth like that won’t stick by you when you’re in a wheelchair crapping your pants. Find yourself a nice Carnie girl like I did.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Yeah – my mom the soul-selling amateur witch with a family curse.
DADDY BLAZE: Actually, that’s just in the comics. That won’t come up in the movie at all.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Really?
DADDY BLAZE: Yeah, but it’s alright. In the comics, I’m supposed to be dead by now and you’re supposed to get raised by my old partner.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Well, I’m glad you aren’t dead, daddy.
DADDY BLAZE: Not yet anyway
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Huh?
DADDY BLAZE: Nothing, son. Just stay away from that girl.
3. EXTERIOR – LUSH TEXAS HILL COUNTRY – DAY
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE and YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE make out under a tree, in which he has carved their initials and the word “Forever”.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: I love you, but my dad doesn’t want me marrying outside of the family.
YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE: I love you, but my dad doesn’t want me getting involved with Carnie trash.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Well, we can go run off somewhere together. Meet you tomorrow?
YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE: Okay!
4. INTERIOR – GARAGE – NIGHT
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE is fixing his bike so he can elope with the YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE. Suddenly, he stumbles across a letter saying that DADDY BLAZE is dying of cancer.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Oh no! I can’t run off and leave daddy behind. If only there was something I could do.
PETER FONDA: Maybe I can help.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Peter Fonda? Why are you here?
PETER FONDA: Because there are some parts Christopher Walken won’t take. Actually, I’m The Devil and I can cure your daddy’s cancer.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: I dunno.
PETER FONDA: What if I cure your daddy’s cancer AND guarantee you’ll finally get to make a superhero movie?
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: I’m still not sure that’s a good idea.
PETER FONDA: What if I cure your daddy’s cancer, guarantee you’ll finally get to make a superhero movie AND that you’ll be able to write your own dialogue?
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Okay!
5. INTERIOR – CARNIVAL TENT – DAY
DADDY BLAZE: Great news son! I no longer have cancer! I feel great! I have a totally new zeal for life!
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: That’s great daddy!
DADDY BLAZE: Sure is! But I have work to do.
DADDY BLAZE tries to jump through a hoop of fire. He falls off the ramp, grazes the hoop slightly and despite not catching fire or looking the least bit burned, dies as YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE runs up.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Noooooooo!
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE then hops on his bike, drives fast, and crashes. Miraculously, he does not die. PETER FONDA appears.
PETER FONDA: Your father died in an accident after you sold your soul to stop him from dying of cancer. How deliciously ironic in a Faustian way.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: That’s not ironic! It’s just mean! And why didn’t I die?
PETER FONDA: Cause your soul is mine and I don’t mean to collect until you’ve made your movie. Deal is a deal, after all.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: So I still get to be Superman?
PETER FONDA: Oh no. I said you’d get to be in a superhero movie.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: Iron Man then?
PETER FONDA: Ghost Rider.
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
YOUNG NICHOLAS CAGE hops on his bike and rides off, driving past the waiting YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE, slowing just long enough to look sad and drive off. We close in on his eyes as he slowly morphs into NICHOLAS CAGE in a bad toupee.
6. INTERIOR – BIG DAMN ARENA – PRESENT – DAY
The NASCAR arena is filled fat, hairy good ol’ boys and bleach-blonde bisexual girls who grind on one another as country rock fills the arena. These are, of course, the only kinds of people you see at NASCAR events.
NICHOLAS CAGE attempts a big stunt. He crashes, breaking his helmet on his front wheel as he flips off the bike and crashes head first into a wall. His best friend MACK runs up.
MACK: Nic, are you alright?
NICHOLAS CAGE: Yeah? Is the bike fine?
It is this moment that it becomes apparent that NICHOLAS CAGE is unable to do a Texas accent and is instead opting for a really bad Elvis impression. This is not helped by his toupee, his white jumpsuit or the Elvis-style sunglasses he dons as he waves to the crowd as he exits the arena.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentleman; Elvis’ Former Son-In-Law has left the building!
7. INTERIOR – NICHOLAS CAGE’S APARTMENT – DAY
MACK: I don’t get it, Nic.
NICHOLAS CAGE: You mean how I keep surviving so many dangerous crashes?
MACK: Actually, I meant how you’re a rich and famous daredevil with his own line of video games, sportswear and crash helmets and yet live like a big Autistic man-child watching the same monkey movies over and over, listening to The Carpenters and reading old books on dark magic while eating ju-ju-bees out of a Martini glass instead of drinking and screwing groupies. But now that you mention it, the not-dying thing creeps me out too.
NICHOLAS CAGE: You want me to change the next stunt where I jump over a football field full of cars?
MACK: Would you?
NICHOLAS CAGE: Uh-huh.
8. INTERIOR – BIG DAMN ARENA – DAY
The roof of the arena opens to reveal a ton of Army helicopters.
NICHOLAS CAGE: I got rid of the cars. Now let’s do this.
MOB OF REPORTERS: Mr. Cage, Mr. Cage! It’s a very slow news day and we having nothing better to do than cover this event.
MACK: Sorry, folks. Mr. Cage does not do interviews.
VOICE: Not even for old friends?
CUT TO: EVA MENDES.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Eva Mendes? Why are you here?
EVA MENDES: Because there are some parts Jessica Alba won’t take. Actually, I’m the YOUNG LATINA HOTTIE you left behind, all grown up and hoping to hook up again. Incidentally, my face is up here.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Boobs. Sorry... what? Huh?
EVA MENDES: Oh forget it!
EVA MENDES storms off as NICHOLAS CAGE jumps a football field’s length over the spinning blades of several helicopters. This would actually be kinda cool if the CGI weren’t of such poor quality. He then goes chasing after EVA MENDES’ news van and nearly causes a wreck on the Interstate trying to stop her.
NICHOLAS CAGE: I’ve recovered my cool and my recklessness in chasing you down has now made you change your mind on your original idea about trying to win me back.
EVA MENDES: You’re right. That was hot. Meet me at a fancy restaurant at 8 PM. Don’t be late.
9. EXTERIOR – TEXAS DESERT – NIGHT
We pull in on a very tough biker bar. We will find out later that this is in the same general area as the big city NICHOLAS CAGE lives in, despite their not being any large Texas cities that have a big arena that are in an actual desert.
BOUNCER: Woah, son. Can’t let you in there. This is a Hell’s Angels bar.
BLACKHEART: Really? What if I were to tell you that I am Blackkheart the disowned son of the Devil himself?
BOUNCER: I’d say you’re a liar with the name of a Care Bears villain and that you look like a gothed up Sean Maher going to a Vampire LARP.
BLACKHEART touches the bouncer. He bloats up into a corpse through the use of bad CGI. BLACKHEART then goes on to do the same thing to the entire bar off-camera. This gets the attention of three fallen angels bonded to the elements of air, earth and water.
BLACKHEART: Come my friends, and we will take over Hell and Earth after we find my dad’s contract of San Peckinpah.
SMOKEY DEMON, DIRTY DEMON AND DRIPPY DEMON: Okay!
10. INTERIOR – NICHOLAS CAGE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE: I’m gonna get laid, I’m gonna get laid, I’m finally gonna get laid.
PETER FONDA: Guess again! It’s time for you to become Ghost Rider!
NICHOLAS CAGE: Noooooooooo!
PETER FONDA: Yes! Now go beat up Blackheart so I can declare your bargain honored and we can both go back to making better movies than this.
11. INTERIOR – FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT
EVA MENDES drinks some wine while waiting for NICHOLAS CAGE.
12. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE screams as his head bursts into flame. He is transformed into a big flaming skeleton. This CGI looks horribly cheap. He then hops onto a bike and rides off.
13. INTERIOR – FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT
EVA MENDES begins drinking because she just realized what a big mistake she has made agreeing to be in this movie.
14. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE blazing along the streets of the city, breaking windows as he sonic-booms past, melting asphalt in his wake and startling a poor cop whose speed trap he blazes past.
15. INTERIOR – FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT
EVA MENDES begins demonstrating how to play the official Ghost Rider drinking game, by taking one sip for every cheap CGI effect.
16. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE saves a PUDGY GOTH GIRL, the only unattractive woman with lines in the whole movie, from a mugger. She waddles off camera.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Look into my eyes!
The Mugger looks into his eyes and suddenly the audience is treated to all sorts of horrible images of bad things the mugger has done, render in bright orange CGI with various flame effects and fire noises that render the whole thing unwatchable. The mugger passes out or dies. We’re not sure.
FANBOY 1: Hey cool! He just used the “Penance Stare!”
FANBOY 2: Wait a minute! Only the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider had that power – not the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider!
The FANBOYS scream as their heads burst into flame.
17. INTERIOR – FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Overwhelmed by all the cheap CGI of the last 5 minutes, EVA MENDES has finished the bottle. She fumbles at the wine steward.
EVA MENDES: You think I’m pretty, don’t you?
WINE STEWARD shakes his head.
WINE STEWARD: Sorry ma’am – like all background movie waiters, I’m gayer than a tree full of monkeys!
18. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE gets his butt kicked by BLACKHEART’S minions. He is still able to kill DIRTY DEMON before running off, getting to the graveyard where his dad is buried and passing out.
19. EXTERIOR – GRAVEYARD - DAY
NICOLAS CAGE: Was the hell just happened?
SAM ELLIOT: Well, I can tell you it wasn’t a dream.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Sam Elliot? Why are you here?
SAM ELLIOT: Because there are some parts Lee Marvin won’t take.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Lee Marvin is dead.
SAM ELLIOT: Lucky bastard. Anyway, I’m here to deliver the exposition and look bad ass. And I’m all done looking bad ass.
NICHOLAS CAGE: So what the hell is going on?
SAM ELLIOT: Once every generation – or every 150 years depending on where we are in the script – a Ghost Rider is chosen. 150 years ago, one Ghost Rider refused to give The Devil his due and deliver the contract of San Peckinpah. He’s got you hunting down his abandoned son, who is close to finding it.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Why doesn’t The Devil just get the contract himself?
SAM ELLIOT: Fallen angels can’t come on holy ground.
NICHOLAS CAGE: So you know where it is?
SAM ELLIOT: Reckon I might.
NICHOLAS CAGE: You sure seem to know a lot about what is going on.
SAM ELLIOT: I read ahead in the script. Anyway, you’ll become The Rider whenever it’s night and you are in the presence of evil. Or whenever you’ve got part of your body in a shadow. Or whenever it’s convenient to the plot.
20. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - DAY
NICHOLAS CAGE walks along, looking at the carnage he caused the night before. He finds EVA MENDES interviewing the PUDGY GOTH GIRL from before.
PUDGY GOTH GIRL: And he had these flames around his head, like what I drew on my journal cover.
MARK STEVEN JOHNSON: Ha-ha! Stupid crazy goths! Surely this will be good for a cheap laugh.
MARKETING PERSON: Actually, most of the core audience for the Ghost Rider comics is gothic teens and tweens.
MARK STEVEN JOHNSON: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NICHOLAS CAGE: I can explain
EVA MENDES: Nothing to explain. Obviously, you are not interested so I don’t want you anymore.
21. INTERIOR – NICHOLAS CAGE’S APARTMENT - DAY
EVA MENDES: I changed my mind. I must have you.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Can I explain first?
EVA MENDES: But I wanna get naked!
NICHOLAS CAGE: I sold my soul to the Devil to save my dad’s life, but he died anyway and now I’m the Devil’s bounty hunter and I turn into a big flaming skeleton I spent all of last night fighting demons and all of evil.
EVA MENDES blinks.
EVA MENDES: If you’re gay, you can just tell me.
NICHOLAS CAGE: I’m not gay!
EVA MENDES: So either you’re crazy or a liar and I don’t sleep with crazy men or liars! I’m leaving.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Oh great! How can this get any worse?
A dozen Police cars appear.
POLICE: NICHOLAS CAGE, we tracked you down using a burnt license plate. You are under arrest for... uh... trashing most of the city, we think.
22. INTERIOR – POLICE STATION - NIGHT
NICHOLAS CAGE: You can’t put me in that cell. Bad things will happen!
THUG #1: Hey! It’s Nicholas Cage! You know, I paid eight bucks to see ‘Wicker Man’.
THUG #2: Me too! Let’s get him!
NICHOLAS CAGE transforms into Ghost Rider and beats up all the irate fans and escapes by melting the bars of the jail cell. Miraculously, no police hear the noise of a fiery explosion, melting metal or many thugs screaming in pain and terror.
23. EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF A TEXAS METROPOLITAN CITY - NIGHT
A massive chase/fight scene ensues with NICHOLAS CAGE outrunning and fighting most of the police force of this nameless Texas berg. He drives up and down the side of a skyscraper in a scene that will surely thrill those Ghost Rider fans who are still sitting through this in the hopes things will improve. He kills SMOKY DEMON and spares EVA MENDES as he attacks the mob surrounding him.
BLACKHEART: So... he clearly loves this woman! I shall use this and defeat those cursed Care Bears. I mean, Ghost Rider!
24. INTERIOR – NICHOLAS CAGE’S APARTMENT - DAY
EVA MENDES: Nic, I believe you now.
MACK: Believe what?
EVA MENDES: What the – who are you again?
MACK: Nic’s best friend. I haven’t been in the movie for about an hour, and yet I still know Nic’s been acting even stranger than usual for the last two days.
BLACKHEART kills MACK and weakens EVA MENDES.
NICHOLAS CAGE: What the – you weakened EVA MENDES!
BLACKHEART: And killed your friend MACK.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Who?
BLACKHEART: Doesn’t matter.
NICHOLAS CAGE: Look into my eyes!
BLACKHEART: Sorry – that only works on people with a soul. Nice try. So yeah - bring me the contract tonight or she dies!
25. EXTERIOR – GRAVE YARD - DAY
NICHOLAS CAGE: Sam, I just figured out the reason you know so much is that you’re the original Ghost Rider. I need the contract to pull a bluff on Blackheart.
SAM ELLIOT: Well, even though you’re new at this and have proven to be borderline incompetent, I guess I can trust you with the thing I gave up the afterlife to protect.
SAM ELLIOT AND NICHOLAS CAGE both transform into Ghost Riders and ride to:
26. EXTERIOR – OLD WEST TOWN STUDIO LOT - NIGHT
SAM ELLIOT: It’ll be dawn soon, so keep to the shadows and you can still change. And now, I must be going off to Heaven or Hell or someplace else.
NICHOLAS CAGE: I thought you were going to help me in the fight?
SAM ELLIOT: I see an opening out of this film and I’m taking it. But here – take my shotgun. It could help.
NICHOLAS CAGE: In fighting Blackheart?
SAM ELLIOT: No, in providing a very subtle nod to the comics that will keep the die-hard fanboys quiet.
A big damn fight ensues with NICHOLAS CAGE killing DRIPPY DEMON and BLACKHEART getting the contract.
BLACKHEART: Ha ha! Now I have control of all the damned souls in this city. They’re all inside me!
NICHOLAS CAGE: I smell loophole!
BLACKHEART: Oh crud.
NICHOLAS CAGE uses the Penance Stare on BLACKHEART. BLACKHEART dies.
PETER FONDA: Nicely done, Nic. Now we can end this movie.
NICHOLAS CAGE: But I don’t want to end this movie... I like this franchise. In fact, I’m going to make another one of these movies. Heck, I’ll make a whole series of these movies! And you can be the bad guy in all of them!
PETER FONDA: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
FAN BOYS EVERYWHERE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The whole of the Internet bursts into flame as FANBOYS EVERYWHERE declare vengeance upon writer/director Mark Steve Johnson.