EVEN though it was met with less than glowing reviews, the 2007 comic book adaptation Ghost Rider brought in $237million at the global box office and then a further $103million in DVD sales in the US alone, according to figures on The Numbers film data site.
Not a staggering total by normal blockbuster standards but by no means a flop either.
It more than recouped its $120million budget and blazed enough of a trail to beat the similarly hell-themed comic adaptations Constantine and Hellboy and persuade Sony to greenlight a follow-up.
The studio had to move fast to avoid losing the rights back to Marvel and we're all expecting this next film - now in production in Romania, with Nicolas Cage back behind the handlebars - to improve on the forgettable first effort.
Cage has now indicated that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will be unrelated to the earlier release, in what seems to be a growing trend for rebooting within a continuing franchise.
At least that's what seems to be happening with properties that had a poorly received initial outing but still seem to have a strong fanbase.
Take the upcoming second Wolverine installment: Same lead actor and yet director Darren Aronofsky made it clear it's not a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine and is very much its own entity. And, of course, the Spider-Man franchise is being rebooted, although that was forced by the dramatic collapse of Raimi's efforts to make a fourth instalment.
Following this latest relaunch pattern is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, this time with directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Crank 2, Gamer), who will be using a story by David Goyer of Blade and Batman fame.
"It is a completely different film." Cage told io9 in an interview this week. "The first one, which I won't denigrate - I liked the first one, but it was almost like a fairy tale.This one is completely reconceived, it's not even connected to the first one, it's a different origin sequence.
"But I think it will be a brand new experience. It has more adrenaline involved in the film making process itself, and in the movie when you see it. Again, I think the stuff we're able to get into with Ghost Rider is going to be a lot more abstract and not like anything you've seen before. So I'm very excited by it."
We do know that Cage's character Johnny Blaze has a son in the film and that child is called Danny Ketch (played by Fergus Riordan), who was a second incarnation of Ghost Rider in the comic books. Fergus is seen sitting on the front of the motorcycle in the set picture above, revealed on Romanian news site Libertatea.
In a separate chat with Collider, Cage - whose well-worn biker leathers (as seen in the images here) hint at an edgier and more rugged film this time - gave some insight into what kind of Rider we can expect.
"He's become a lot more sarcastic, now that his head has been ignited. Unlike the first one where he was trying to keep it at bay. Now he's been living with the Ghost Rider for some time, there's a lot more irony with the character. His outlook isn't as quite naive as it once was."
Cage's view on the new creative team was an enthusiastic one, saying: "I'm very excited about what we're getting up to with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, they are very original in terms of their film making. Mark is doing things I've never seen a director do before -- filming on roller blades, hanging on wires -- it's like a stunt man, camera operator and director all in one. Brian Taylor is really so knowledgeable about film."
The actor promises: "I have high hopes for it. I'm very confident that something special is going to come out of this experience. You can just feel it on the set."
that means Matt Long wouldn't be involved in this film... sad...