'Gladiator' is reportedly getting a sequel, and people are freaking out
Despite coming out over 18 years ago, Gladiator is still a force to be reckoned with. Not only did the epic garner eleven Oscar nominations and five wins, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe, but it earned itself a huge fanbase along the way.
Pretty much everyone had a copy of Gladiator in their house (back when physical copies were the only way we were watching anything), with its two and a half hour plus runtime doing little to dissuade us from watching it over and over again. Now, years later, it looks like we will finally be getting a sequel to the classic.
According to an exclusive report from Deadline (who are usually spot-on with this kind of thing), director Ridley Scott is set to return to the world he brought to us back in 2000. The movie will reportedly be written by Peter Craig, whose writing credits include The Town, two of the Hunger Games films - while he is also working on the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.
Gladiator saw Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) murder his own father to seize the throne, before he faces down with Maximus (Russell Crowe) in the gladiator arena. Maximus, despite being mortally wounded before the fight even begins, manages to win the battle - but he's too far gone at that point. In a bittersweet ending, he ends up joining his deceased family in the afterlife - which probably means we won't be seeing Crowe's character around this time.
According to Deadline, this entry into the series will focus on Lucius, the nephew of Commodus and son to Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), and his ongoing adventures. Lucius, for those that can't remember, was saved from death by Maximus in the previous movie.
Whether or not he ends up literally in the gladiator pit like Maximus remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure - it can't be as bonkers as the previous script that was written for Gladiator 2. Nick Cave, who has also written the 2012 film Lawless, was asked by Russell Crowe to write a sequel, and what he came up with is pretty bananas.
"[Russell Crowe] rang me up and asked if I wanted to write Gladiator 2," he said on Marc Maron’s podcast in 2013. "For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask. ‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in Gladiator?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out.’"
That script involved Maxmius travelling through the afterlife, where he meets the Roman gods and is tasked with killing rogue god Hephaestos, before returning to life to lead an uprising... before travelling through time as an immortal warrior all the way into the present, where he sits at the table of the Pentagon's war room.
Yeah, pretty bonkers, right?
It's safe to say we won't be getting much in the way of this story (which you can read more of here) when the sequel eventually gets off the ground - but it'll be fascinating to see how they manage to continue the story.