Sony Pictures has partnered with Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment to help bring Marvel Comics' demonic anti-hero, Ghost Rider, back to the big screen, but with a substantial cut in the movie's budget. According to TheWrap, Sony has so much capital tied up in the Spider-Man reboot, Men in Black III, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that it cut the budget of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance nearly in half, from a proposed $135 million to $75 million, and still needed to seek Hyde Park's assistance in financing the sequel. TheWrap's "knowledgeable insider" source also revealed that the budget cuts include a pay cut for the title star of the movie, Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage, down from his usual $12 million fee to $7 million.
It's unclear how such a drastic budget cut will affect filming, but it's likely that the writing-directing team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor will be forced to forego many special effects sequences in favor of practical effects or cut out some scenes altogether. It was not revealed whether the budget cut will impact Sony's plans to release Spirit of Vengeance in 3-D. The movie is expected to go into production in November and shoot in Romania and Turkey. The cast includes Cage, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, and Ciarán Hinds.