Gladiator Star Russell Crowe Addresses Lack of Involvement in Upcoming Sequel

After years of rumors about the development of a Gladiator sequel, the film is finally moving forward and, while his work on the original film earned him an Oscar, Russell Crowe isn't involved in the project, due to his Maximus dying in the film's conclusion. Despite some concepts of a follow-up allowing Maximus to be the focus of an otherworldly conquest, Crowe isn't surprised by his lack of involvement in the upcoming project, yet he did admit that there's a slight amount of jealousy at star Paul Mescal, as Crowe knows just how exciting of an opportunity it will be.

"I'm sure at some point in time they'll want to ask me about something, but they haven't brought anything up in a while," Crowe recalled to The Ryan Tubridy Show. "It's an extension of the narrative, but it is long beyond Maximus' passing, so it doesn't really involve me at all. I hear that young fella Paul is a good dude and I wish him the best of luck with it. I think where they're picking the story up from a young Lucius, stepping into the role of emperor. I think that's a very smart idea within the world of the film that we created."

He added, "I don't want to dwell on it too much because it does take me back to a period of time when obviously I was significantly younger. And you know, the rose-colored glasses of that experience now are perfectly crystallized. I look back on it and I loved every minute of it, and that wasn't actually the case at the time. I do like being on a period movie set. Stepping into those sorts of costumes and those sorts of situations and stuff, it has great appeal to me. There's a slight edge of jealousy that people get to have that experience that I had once."

In addition to Mescal, the new film is set to star Barry Keoghan and Denzel Washington, while original director Ridley Scott is set to return to helm the project. Crowe previously recalled how, even if he's not in the project, he has been kept in the loop on the status of the follow-up.

"We've had dinner and talked about it and all that stuff. So I know roughly how he's shaping the story," Crowe shared with the Fitzy & Wippa Podcast. "But yeah, if you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to the 'My name is' speech. So that young kid has grown up, and he's now the Emperor. I don't know what else happens at that point, so that's the idea. So it's not a remake. And it's not a direct sequel. It's not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something."

Gladiator 2 currently has a November 22, 2024 release date.

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