Nicolas Cage's first choice to play evil MEPHISTOPHELES in new comic book movie adaptation GHOST RIDER was gravel-voiced crooner Tom Waits.
The movie star had his heart set on the DOWNTOWN TRAIN singer joining him in the new blockbuster, in which he plays a half-man half-skeleton fireball biker hero, until producers suggested his hero Peter Fonda for the part.
Easy Rider star Fonda eventually landed the role of the motorbiking villain, and now Cage insists producers cast the part perfectly.
The MOONSTRUCK star says, "We talked about who was going to play Mephistopheles and originally I wanted Tom Waits, but the studio decided they wanted to go with Peter.
"I thought about it and I said, 'That makes sense because who better to seduce a stunt cyclist to sell their soul than (Easy Rider character) CAPTAIN AMERICA himself?'
"Peter is the reason that I ride motorcycles. I saw Easy Rider and the next day I bought a Harley Davidson and went from LA to San Francisco and back and became Captain America in my mind.
"And we were there play acting together and there was this bike there and there's Peter and he's talking and I stepped out of myself and looked at the two of us and was thinking, 'Wow, this is really cool. This is Captain America!'"