Ridley Scott has already returned to two of his most famous works over the last half-decade – the Alien franchise as a director and Blade Runner 2049 as a producer – and now looks set to bring back another. Scott has reportedly “begun forward progress” on a sequel to his 2000 Best Picture Oscar film, Gladiator.
That film took Hollywood by total surprise, briefly rekindling interest in the historical epic and netting star Russell Crowe a Best Actor win. However, those that have seen the film know that Crowe can’t exactly return for obvious reasons, and this proposed sequel would instead follow Lucius, the son of Lucilla and nephew of corrupt emperor Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix in the original film.
The script for the sequel comes from Top Gun: Maverick screenwriter Peter Craig, but Scott and his Scott Free production banner are leading the charge for the film. Paramount will reportedly develop the project while Universal has an option to co-finance. DreamWorks produced the original film, but is not involved this time around.
A Gladiator sequel is an interesting proposition. The historical epic never really took off in the wake of the original’s success, and without Crowe is there much in the sequel that will appeal to audiences? On the other hand, nostalgia is strong, likely even for a film that is only 18 years old, so perhaps studios are banking on that to drive audience interest for the sequel.
Word is that Gladiator 2 could come together very quickly, which isn’t a surprise considering Scott’s tendency to work fast. In addition to this project, he also has the comic adaptation Queen & Country in the works, as well as being currently at work on his first ever TV series, titled Raised By Wolves. We’ll wait and see where Gladiator 2 fits into his schedule.