It was previously assumed that actor Ving Rhames would be reprising his role as IMF operative Luther Stickell in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, the forth chapter of the popular action series based on the classic TV show. But according to the actor, that may not be the case.

Rhames appeared in the first three films, Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible 2 and Mission: Impossible III, as a member of Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) team, but due to budget cuts, he may not return for the fourth movie.

RELATED: Parachuting Tom Cruise Surprises Hikers While Preparing for Mission: Impossible 8

This is stunning news as it was previously announced that he would join the rest of the cast, which includes Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg.

We recently had chance to speak with Ving Rhames while he was out promoting his latest film, Death Race 2, which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD January 18th, 2011. We asked the actor if he would in fact be returning for Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and were surprised by his response:

"I may be doing something very small in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol but I will just say that the budget changed dramatically and I'll leave it at that."

We followed up by asking if that meant that he would only be appearing in a brief cameo in the film?

"Hmm... Cha-ching could create that but it's up to them."