According to The Wrap Sony has given Ghost Rider 2 the greenlight so it can begin production almost immediately, but they have cut the budget from $135 million to $75 million. Nicolas Cage may have to ditch the motorcycle.
The studio has also partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment to co-finance the film as Sony already has a lot of money invested in the Spider-Man reboot, Men in Black 3 and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Hyde Park will also release the sequel overseas, while Sony will keep domestic distribution rights. Usually budgets for sequels increase by about $20-50 million, but in this case it appears Sony is keeping the risk low (Ghost Rider made $229 million worldwide in 2007).
In the film Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage) is hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and is struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil (Ciaran Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son’s body.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is set to be released on February 17, 2012 and will be directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo behind Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Gamer.