Hollywood is always looking for the next big franchise, with 2000's Gladiator going on to be both a critical and financial success, ultimately earning five Oscars, but the death of Russell Crowe's main character Maximus posed some challenges with how the narrative could be continued. Earlier this year, producer Doug Wick offered us an update on the status of a possible sequel and potential narrative details, though Crowe has recently confirmed that he hasn't been in contact with the producer in quite some time, likely squashing any hopes of such a project happening in the near future, if at all.
"I haven't talked to Doug in a long, long time," Crowe confirmed with ScreenRant. "Last time I talked to Doug, he said he had this great idea where Maximus gets carried from the stadium and they pull back this big rock and he gets put into this cave and then the rock closes over and he's anointed with oils. And then the rock opens up and he comes out. And I said, 'Doug, I don't think we have the rights to that story.' But that was a long, long time ago and I don't think he appreciated my sense of humor at the time."
In the two decades since the film was released, a variety of reports have emerged about what a sequel could explore, which also included claims that the narrative could pivot to a new character. Wick, however, noted that a key component in possibly making a sequel would be the return of director Ridley Scott, whose busy schedule has prevented him from developing a follow-up project.
"Ridley would love to do it. It's really all about getting something on paper," Wick confirmed to ComicBook.com. "Everyone [involved with the original] loves the movie too much to ever consider cheaply exploiting it and making something that's a shadow of it. It's just really a clear creative problem, working on a script, and if we can ever get it to a place ... Ridley's working on it, it's really just a question of whether we can get it to a place where it feels worthy to make it. It's a real challenge."
He added, "But it's also a real writing problem, too. Like any good movie, Gladiator works by the skin of its teeth, where this fight movie ends up adding up that way, and so, again, to take the best of what the audience is attached to, but make it fresh in some new incarnation, it's really challenging. And, of course, the leading man is dead. If you do Godfather, you say, 'Okay, the audience loves these stars in this wardrobe,' and you bring back the old team."
Stay tuned for details on a possible Gladiator sequel.
Would you like to see the film get a follow-up? Let us know in the comments below!