5 Questions We Want to Ask About Gladiator 2
We know we are living in the age of the Hollywood sequel and reboot. A huge number of films have been picked up, dusted down, rebooted and rehashed. Sometimes it works (Creed, Mad Max: Fury Road), and sometimes it doesn’t (Point Break, Ben-Hur). But there is an insatiable appetite among studio execs to keep returning to the past for inspiration.
Obviously, the reason behind this is financial. But even some of cinema’s greatest auteurs are clamouring to revisit past glories, and that includes Ridley Scott. The British director has already returned to Alien (Prometheus, Alien Covenant) and was initially involved in directing Blade Runner 2049 before stepping back to act as an Executive Producer.
But Scott, who is probably going to be a prominent fixture this awards season as House of Gucci is tipped for Oscar’s success, also has designs on making a sequel to Gladiator. If you have seen the original, you’ll know this is quite surprising: If any movie could be said to have a sense of closure, it’s Gladiator.
And so, we have some questions:
Is It Real Or Just An Internet Rumour?
No. This is official. Scott himself said in September that Gladiator 2 would be “ready to go” after he has completed Kitbag, a Napoleon biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jodie Comer. The director confirmed that the script was being written (Peter Craig is apparently the scriptwriter, which is good news). We won’t put a firm date on anything, as a lot of movies have been pushed back of late, but 2023 seems a reasonable guess for Gladiator 2.
Why Is This Happening?
Money, presumably. Scott’s movies have obvious box-office appeal, and a Gladiator sequel will undoubtedly rake it in. But, as mentioned, the original film had a definitive ending. In short: (spoiler alert) every character of note dies by the end of Gladiator, so there isn’t much in the way to thread together a sequel. But the rumours always persisted, and it even led to a bizarre story of Nick Cave (he of the Bad Seeds fame) writing a script for the sequel.
What’s The Story?
The assumption is that the film will be set around 20-30 years later, focusing on Lucius Verus (originally played by Spencer Treat Clark), who was the grandson of Marcus Aurelius and set the become Emperor of Rome at the end of the film. That’s all fairly standard, but there have been all sorts of theories, including one where Maximus (Russell Crowe) appears in the movie. Crowe seems to have ruled himself out (for now), but his absence will likely be felt. Despite the scope and grandeur, it (the original) was Maximus’ movie.
Are Fans Asking for This?
Not really. While it was popular, Gladiator was hardly a movie that led to fans thinking about world-building like The Matrix or Marvel films. In fact, the only modern piece of official fandom we can find is the Gladiator Jackpot slot, which is based on and uses original imagery from the 2000 Oscar-winning movie. But if fans aren’t asking for it, they will certainly be happy about it.
What Else Do We Know?
Next to nothing in terms of concrete information. In the words of Russell Crowe, “they (Scott and his team) have been talking about this since 2000.”, and there have been all sorts of theories and rumours over the cast, production team and scriptwriters. Our advice is to believe nothing until you hear it from someone in authority.