Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has made a preemptive 7-figure deal for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance co-director Brian Taylor to write and direct a live action adaptation of the iconic video game Twisted Metal. Ghost Rider’s Avi and Ari Arad are producing the adaptation of the game, which has been published in various configurations by Sony Computer and is one of the biggest selling video games. The newest version of the game was just released today for PlayStation 3. Avi Arad, of course, has been a producer of Sony’s Spider-Man films since the beginning, including the upcoming 3D The Amazing Spider-Man. All this action occurs as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens this weekend, with Nicolas Cage reprising the title role and Idris Elba also starring.

Like the game, the film will revolve around an underground event that pits a number of combatants in a fight to the death. They are outfitted in armored weaponized cars that are pimped out with heavy weaponry that includes missiles and machine guns. Some drop mines or launch electrical charges. The proprietor of the race is Calypso, a string-puller dedicating to examining the human condition, such as what makes a peaceful man violent, what terrifies a violent man and who will make a Faustian bargain in which they risk their lives. The sole survivor will get any wish granted.

I’m told that the film will include such signature contestant characters as Sweet Tooth, a homicidal clown who drives an ice cream truck, and Doll Face, a young woman who is trapped behind a porcelain mask and who drives an 18-wheeler.

This is the first project that Taylor has done solo. He has always teamed with Mark Neveldine on such films as the Crank series. There have been two so far, and they are talking about making a third, in 3D, as well as a possible future Ghost Rider. The team will continue to write and direct films together. Taylor is repped by UTA.