From what I may remember Nicholas Cage actually approached Marvel and said he wanted to do a Ghost Rider movie -- citing that the character was one of his favorites (although, this is from my memory of reading old issues of Wizard
(I also heard that they wanted to get Tom Cruise to play Iron Man ... again, if I recall correctly)
What's selling me on Nick Cage doing this is a fun fact I learned. For any who may not know, Nicholas Cage was not his birth name (born: Nicholas Kim Coppola). His last name carried a history with it and he wanted to take his career on his own, outisde the Coppola shadow. So, he changed his name (even legally) to Nicholas Cage ... Where did Cage come from? Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man
I think a guy who is a big enough comic fan to have his name changed in homage to one ... I'll give him a decent benefit of doubt when it comes to acting in a comic book movie. Also, he does have a Ghost Rider tattoo (those permanent, forever kinds) that had to be CGed out of the film.