At last, Ridley Scott is getting to direct the sequel to his own Gladiator that he’s been trying to get off the ground for decades. (The original film opened in theaters in May of 2000.) Although Russell Crowe’s character (uh, spoiler alert) dies at the end of the original movie, many of the concepts for a sequel that Scott explored through the years would have featured him in one form or another.
But now we’re almost a quarter century after Gladiator and Crowe’s 25 years older too. Tea Gladiator sequel that is actually going into production will focus on a new character, played by aftersun star Paul Mescal. When asked how he feels about Gladiator 2 finally happening without his involvement, Crowe confessed to Collider that he was “slightly jealous” about the whole thing.
Here was his exact quote:
Look, the only thing that I really feel about it is slightly jealous, you know? Because I was a much younger man, obviously, and it was a huge experience in my life. It’s something that changed my life, really. It changed the way people regarded me and what I do for a living, and, you know, I’ve been very lucky to be involved in lots of big movies, but the legacy on that film are incredible. Here it is, it’s 2023, and we made that film in 1999. I guarantee you, somewhere around the world tonight, Gladiator is going to be showing on primetime TV…obviously holds a special place in my heart.
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Scott and others have spent much of the last 20 years off and on trying to get a Gladiator sequel off the ground. Some of the proposed concepts for Gladiator 2 involved literally resurrecting Russell Crowe’s Maximus and turning the series into more of an epic fantasy. Others focused on Lucius, the young son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla, who idolized Crowe’s gladiator character in the original movie. This release will reportedly focus on Lucius, played by Mescal. At present, Crowe is not expected to return for the sequel. The film will also star Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan.
Gladiator 2 is currently scheduled to open in theaters on November 22, 2024.
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