Industry analysts claim the recession ended in June 2009, but how can that be true if it still troubles our superheroes? It was just 2007 when Nicolas Cage was suited up to play Johnny Blaze in "Ghost Rider," a film budgeted north of $110 million. Cage received somewhere between $12 and $20 million upfront, and the film grossed $229 worldwide before a healthy DVD life. Mortgages were paid, Sony was flush with cash, and everyone was happy.
Flash forward to 2010...
With shooting set to begin soon on "Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance" Sony has reportedly axed the budget of the the film from $135 million to $75 million; they are sharing production costs with Hyde Park Entertainment. As a result, Cage has apparently taken a paycut from $12 million to $7 million fee. Seems Sony tightened the purse strings because on the film as their other higher profile vehicles "Men In Black III," "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "Spider-Man: The ReWebbing" are tying up most of the money in their bank account.
While the picture will be shot in 3D, the script we read suggested a lot of European desert-type settings and a much smaller scope than the first film, so we can't imagine how pricey this could be, but when a studio cuts a predicted budget by $60 million, then more than just a set piece or two are going out the window. Are they just going to light a candle inside an empty skull?
"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" will be directed by Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine. Cage is starring alongside Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth and, if you've friended him on Facebook, Christopher Lambert. The Rider gets loose on February 17th, 2012.