Leaner Budget for ‘Ghost Rider 2' Gets Greenlight from Sony and Hyde Park

Shooting is about to start on ‘Ghost Rider 2,’ but the budget has taken a big step down

EXCLUSIVE

With a production deadline looming, Sony has partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment as a cofinancier on the 3D “Ghost Rider 2,” with Nicolas Cage in the lead – at a much leaner budget.

The first film in 2007 set up Cage as stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who gives up his soul to be come a vigilante. That film had an estimated budget of $110 million, and grossed $115 million domestically, and a total of $229 million worldwide.

This time Ashok Armitraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment has stepped in to cofinance the project because Sony has so much capital tied up in 'SpiderMan' and 'Men in Black 3' and 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.'

The budget has been cut from $135 million to a leaner $75 million, according to a knowledgeable insider.

(Even Nic Cage had to take a serious haircut to reprise Johnny Blaze, down from his $12 million fee to what one knowledgeable insider said was $7 million. CAA was presumably not very happy.)

Sony had no initial comment.

The production will begin almost immediately, Idris Elba and Ciaran Hinds and Placido Violante are also cast in the film, written David Goyer and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.

The film is being produced by Mike deLuca, Avi Arad and Ashok Armitraj.

Hyde Park owns international rights, while Sony will keep domestic distribution rights.