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.
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.)
Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the sequel stars Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba and Johnny Whitworth. It is scheduled for a February 17, 2012 release.