Nicolas Cage Needed Ghost Rider Edited Out Of Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage had to get a tattoo of Ghost Rider digitally removed to film the movie Ghost Rider.

By TeeJay Small | Published

nicolas cage

Nicolas Cage needed to have his Ghost Rider tattoo removed from his body using CGI in post-production while playing the titular Ghost Rider. During an ongoing investigation into whether or not CGI was used to produce Cage’s ripped physique during the production of the 2007 film, courtesy of, it was discovered that CGI was in fact used to digitally remove the actor’s real-world tattoo of a flaming skull. The Pig actor, who was 42 years old and genuinely in excellent shape during the shoot, laughed while acknowledging the irony, stating “I’ve got a flaming skull on my arm and I’m covering it up to play the part of a flaming skull in a movie.”

Nicolas Cage, who plays Johnny Blaze, an adrenaline-chasing stuntman who enters into a covenant with the Devil, had been a fan of both the source material and the aesthetic for years before landing the titular role and got inked to commemorate the occasion. While being questioned about his tight six-pack, Cage acknowledged that it may be unbelievable to some that he genuinely put in the hard work to achieve the look, while laughing at the irony of the removal of his tattoo. Johnny Blaze may be a bit of a narcissist, but surely he wouldn’t get a tattoo in his own image… right?

Nicolas Cage went on to reprise the role in 2011’s sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, where he played opposite Idris Elba in an attempt to save the souls of the Devil’s innocent victims. Of course, the tattoo is not visible in this film either, but it would surely have brought a layer of comedic value to the film. There were rumors of a third installment of the Ghost Rider series for years, but there doesn’t appear to be a new entry into the IP in production at this time.

Tattoos are frequently CG’d on and off for films, and Nicolas Cage is no stranger to this process. Having such large tattoos covering visible portions of his upper body, the National Treasure star frequently uses makeup or CGI techniques to remove his ink when filming shirtless scenes. That said, we can’t immediately think of another instance wherein an actor needed a tattoo removed because it depicted the source material for the very scene they were shooting, but Nicolas Cage remains a trailblazer in this field.

Nicolas Cage has been in over 100 movies of varying quality and is widely regarded as an actor whose range is matched only by his tenacity. As of the writing of this piece, Cage has seven films in varying active stages of production, in addition to the two films he starred in released in 2022, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and Butcher’s Crossing. Ghost Rider remains a Nicolas Cage fan favorite and it is a fun surprise to learn that Cage himself enjoys the character and the story as much as the fans. With just enough early 2000’s comic book camp to offset the dark subject matter, the film remains a classic in its own right, leaving its mark on comic book films just before the MCU took hold of the genre.