Although he is technically departing Marvel to create his own production company, Avi Arad is still up to his elbows in Marvel film work. In a recent interview, Arad addressed both the long-delayed Ghost Rider flick and the (eventually) upcoming Punisher sequel. Here's the news:

Regarding Ghost Rider, Arad admits that earlier reports of special effects work being very involved are only part of the issue behind the delay of the film. He says the insanity of summer movie releases make it difficult to work in a title; most of the weekends are already filled up with at least one major flick. So in interest of creating both a better looking and more financially successful flick, they pushed back the release date. I'm perfectly okay with this decision if it truly results in a better film. We geeks very much need for Marvel films to be financially rewarding if we hope to see more of them in the future.

Punisher 2 is on the move, although admittedly slower than desired. Arad says: "We are working on it, and I think we are close to a take that makes sense." This still doesn't deal with the issue production and funding, but at least it is a step in the right direction. DVD sales included the film certainly made enough to warrant a sequel in today's Hollywood.