Back in 2000, Ridley Scott's Gladiator became one of the biggest movies of the year, taking in $457.6 million worldwide and snagging Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Visual Effects, Best Costumes, and Best Sound Mixing. Between the epic nature of the story and the film concluding with Maximus (Russell Crowe) dying, the instinctive response from audiences wasn't to ask for a sequel. Things have changed over the past two decades, as Scott has begun working on a follow-up film, which is being written by Peter Craig. The upcoming sequel's producers confirmed that the new film would take place roughly 25 years after the original.
"We're working with Ridley, and that's one we wouldn't touch unless we felt we had a way to do it that's legitimate, so we're working with an amazing writer, as well, Peter Craig," producer Laurie MacDonald shared with HeyUGuys.
Producer Walter F. Parkes added, "It picks up the story 30 years later, 25 years later."
News of a sequel moving forward nearly two decades after the original film's release might sound shocking, but that's far from strange for Scott. While many sequels to his 1979 Alien were made over the years, Scott himself didn't return to the franchise until 2011 with Prometheus, which he followed with Alien: Covenant. In 1982, Scott delivered the Harrison Ford-starring Blade Runner, which earned itself a sequel in 2017 with Blade Runner 2049.
Between the amount of time that has passed since Gladiator's release and with the main character having died, audiences have assumed a new film wouldn't focus on Maximus, but Scott teased in 2017 that he found a way to revive the character.
“I know how to bring him back," Scott shared at South by Southwest. "I was having this talk with the studio — ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”
Despite the lack of details about the project, we can't help but hope Scott will utilize some of the ideas Australian musician Nick Cave toyed with when Crowe asked him to write the script years ago.
“[Crowe] rang me up and asked if I wanted to write Gladiator 2,” Cave previously shared on the WTF podcast. “For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask. ‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in Gladiator 1?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out.’ So, he goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers.”
He added, “I wanted to call it ‘Christ Killer’ and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods. He becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20-minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild. It was a stone cold masterpiece. I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made. Let’s call it a popcorn dropper.”1comments
Stay tuned for details on Gladiator 2.
Are you looking forward to the sequel? Let us know in the comments below!