Nicholas Cage says 'Ghost Rider' character is 'edgier' this time out

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Nicholas Cage is back Johnny Blaze in a new Ghost Rider movie set eight years after the original film. It's called "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance."

"I wanted to see what John Blaze would be like eight years later, living with the curse, … what his state of mind would be," Cage explained. "He's a much edgier, much darker, more sarcastic kind of character.

"In this one, I had the marvelous experience of playing Ghost Rider, as well," he continued. "Even though you see my head as a CGI skull with fire, I still designed all the movements and got in there with the other actors. It opened my imagination up to all sorts of possibilities. I wanted him to be like a very bad dream that will hopefully terrify you and entertain you at the same time."

A Marvel character, Blaze is a stunt motorcyclist who gave up his soul to become the "hell-blazing vigilante" known as Ghost Rider. Cage said don't worry if you didn't see 2007's "Ghost Rider" and aren't familiar with the comic.

"I think that this movie is an entirely original experience in its own right," he said. "It's not a sequel. Everything is built in. They'll be able to enjoy it.

"I think they'll see the wonderful icon that is the flaming skull of Ghost Rider, who is both wonderfully absurd and wonderfully philosophical at the same time," he continued.

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" is rated PG-13. It opens in both 3D and regular 2D on Friday.