After 12 Oscar nominations, including five wins, and 18 years, it seems as if we might be getting a sequel to Gladiator.
Director Ridley Scott has reportedly started the followup to his much-loved 2000 film, which earned itself the Best Picture Award, and the Best Actor Award for Russell Crowe.
As you may recall (or if you don’t – spoiler alert!), Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, ended up walking through the fields of the afterlife to be reunited with his own wife and son. So unless the new film is set in the underworld, it’s unlikely Crowe will be reprising his heroic role.
Instead, the sequel is said to focus on the story of Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) – the cowardly, snivelling Emperor who murdered his father, Marcus Aurelius to take the throne.
Those who remember the film will recall, as a gladiator, Maximus made a big impression on young Lucius, which only stoked Commodus’ seething jealousy and anger. At the end of the film, Maximus effectively saves Lucilla and Lucius before facing Commodus in the arena.
The sequel is being helmed by Ridley Scott and his Scott Free production company, according to Deadline. Scott himself is looking to direct again, while Peter Craig – who’s worked on two Hunger Games films, The Town and 12 Strong, among others – is being lined up as writer.
While the original film was made by Dreamworks, it seems they’re not interested in the sequel, which will instead be developed by Paramount, according to sources.
Ridley Scott is currently working on his first ever TV series, Raised By Wolves. He also has a few other feature films on the go, including a rumoured movie about a the formative years of the young wizard Merlin, so it could be a little while before we see Gladiator 2 hit the big screen.
Gladiator made $460 million worldwide, as well as its five Oscars, so naturally this isn’t the first time a sequel has been talked about.
Legendary singer and writer Nick Cave even penned his own sequel, which would have seen Maximus brought back from the dead thanks to the body of a slain Christian martyr, according to The Guardian.
Speaking on Marc Maron’s podcast in 2013, Nick Cave said:
[Russell Crowe] rang me up and asked if I wanted to write Gladiator 2. For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask.
‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in Gladiator?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out.’
Nick Cave’s last screenplay was for the 2012 film Lawless, which starred Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Mia Wasikowska.
Ridley Scott is no stranger to making sequels and prequels. In 2012 he made Prometheus, the first of an ambitious series of films that will act as prequels to Alien.
He made the followup to Prometheus last year, before directing 2017’s All the Money in the World, which starred Michelle Williams.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.