Brian Taylor is one half of Neveldine/Taylor, the sometime commercial directors who crashed onto the action movie scene with Crank, caught fire with Crank 2 but unfortunately seem to have exploded with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
At the moment he seems to be going it alone quite a bit. This week he signed up as the solo writer-director of a Twisted Metal movie, to be based on the video game; and tonight he took to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything, again without Mark Neveldine. It could be read as a little worrying actually – I hope you're all right, Mark, and just having some time off.
As far as I can see, nobody asked about the absence of Mr. Neveldine during the AMA, but there sure were plenty of vague questions about working with Jason Statham and Nic Cage, fishing for the kind of "They're badasses" comments that, unsurprisingly, they garnered.
But there was lots more too, and some of it is well worth passing on, I think, so here are my selection of highlights from Taylor's responses:
i don't get the oscars. how is the hurt locker a better script than inglorious basterds? how is inception nom'd for best picture but not nolan for best director? did the movie make itself? etc. etc. they lost me when gandhi beat out ET for best picture.
cage's total lack of bitterness and his continued passion and intensity in his approach – after all these years – is unfuckingbelievable. he's an inspiring dude.
there are so many different versions of GR over the last 30+ years… i read a lot but didnt find much to take from. the garth ennis/clayton crane mini-series were awesome. the first year of GR from back in the day is completely hilarious – he is basically completely embarrassed about being ghost rider and spends most of the time running away and hiding his face.
marvel was not involved in the look/feel at all. we sent them concept art and they gave a thumbs up.
i really hated the way the ghost rider looked in the first movie. the first thing we tried to do better was a complete redesign – i think the new GR is much more visceral and nasty.
i would've got more into FPS gaming before making gamer. we literally had no clue. i would write a completely different movie if i had it to do over. also, gerard butler and terry crews should've switched roles.
all of the people you mention [Gerard Butler, Kyra Sedgewick, Michael C Hall, Terry Crews, Ludacris] with the exception of one diva were awesome to work with :) kyra is NOT said diva
i think the crank movies have had staying power and cultural impact and a big influence on many fucked up young film makers.
[Crank's poisoning] was a plot device designed to showcase the shit we do w/ cutting and camera movement but became a metaphor for our entire ADD approach to reality
try explaining to amy smart that she has to take stripper pole lessons and roll around in horse manure naked for the integrity of the film. now that's directing.
[Crank 3]will happen, prob 2013.
we were going to have chelios track down bin laden [in Crank 3] but that got fucked up…
There's a lot more in the full AMA, but there's some repetition, a lot of off topic stuff and some diplomatic, political answers. For example, Taylor appears to have made only one acknowledgement of "the Gary Friedrich situation." Asked for a comment he simply said:
I have to say, it was not a bad AMA, as far as these things go. Perhaps the most interesting, from my point of view, were a pair of comments Taylor made about his future ambitions. Here are the question and answer pairs:
Why action movies? Out of all the generes why choose to make action movies? I was a big fan of crank actually however I feel your talents can be applied to a good narrative driven drama as well based on the tightly written script. just asking!
i agree, stay tuned
What kind of movie do you want to make, but would be unlikely to make? (e.g., romantic comedy, period piece, a movie of an obscure book)
all of the above
Whether or not anybody ever puts down the money for a literary, period rom-com from one of the directors of Crank is an entirely different question, but I'd certainly be curious to see what would happen.