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Why Scott Derrickson Passed On Ghost Rider 2 To Direct Sinister

In 2012, Lionsgate released "Sinister," an American supernatural horror film starring Ethan Hawke as a true crime writer who prioritizes his work over his family's wellbeing (per IMDb). As noted by Love Horror U.K., C. Robert Cargill — co-author of the screenplay, alongside director Scott Derrickson — stated that the film was inspired by a nightmare he had after watching "The Ring" and was shaped with the intention of creating a new Boogey Man-slash-Willy Wonka figure. Hodge-podge imagery aside, the film did well enough to merit a sequel, with exactly one actor reprising their role (spoilers: the rest were super dead). 

With all this in mind, it's interesting to note that the entire film's creation hinged on Derrickson turning down the opportunity to direct "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," the sequel to the 2007 Nicolas Cage "Ghost Rider." While it's probably obvious why he turned down that particular offer, here's what Derrickson had to say about the situation. 

Sinister's pre-production process was unnaturally swift

As shared by Slash Film, Scott Derrickson (mostly) passed on "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" because of how quickly "Sinister" came into being. Specifically, he said, "The most amazing thing about the movie is that from the first time that I heard the idea in Vegas, to selling the idea to Jason [Blum], to the movie being green-lit, to shooting the movie, posting the movie, having the movie finished, and the movie getting released, was less than a year. That never happens. The reason why I said yes to Jason immediately was, I was like, 'Okay, this is it. If this is the last film I ever get to make ...' I was getting offered things like 'Ghost Rider 2.' If I had made that movie, I probably never would've worked again. I was passing on the few things I was getting offered."

There is no kind way to say that "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" and "Sinister" are movies in two entirely separate quality brackets. Critically speaking, while "Sinister" wasn't considered phenomenal, it was broadly understood to be a solid and effective film. As for "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" ... well, according to the Rotten Tomatoes consensus blurb, it's just "plain trash." Derrickson might have been a touch overdramatic when he suggested that directing the sequel to Nicolas Cage's stint as a demonic leather daddy would have killed his career, but he certainly opted for the more lucrative business decision.