If "Fantastic Four" taught us anything, it's that you can create a so-so movie based on a comic book property, and you can expect to do well enough to earn a sequel. That is the model "Ghost Rider" followed, including ending the franchise after only two movies. By its release in 2011, it's not enough to just put a comic book character on the big screen anymore, you have to earn the audiences' trust. "Spirit of Vengeance" made some improvements over the original, but fell short of earning a full trilogy.
Nicholas Cage has a well documented love of comic books. His stage name borrows from Luke Cage. While filming the movie "Ghost Rider", he had to cover up his Ghost Rider tattoo. And it is definitely a good thing when your lead actor is passionate about the source material, but then again when your lead actor is Nicholas Cage, well, it's certainly going to be interesting.