Early details of 'Gladiator 2' plans emerge

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Russell Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator (Credit: Dreamworks)

A sequel to Ridley Scott's swords and sandals epic Gladiator has been in the offing since at least 2001, a year after the first movie unleashed hell.

Since then, it's been through various incarnations, among them being a 'multi-generational prequel', which would perhaps have allowed Russell Crowe, slain in the first movie, to potentially return in Godfather II style.

But now there's a tidbit of news from the movie's producers.

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Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are doing the rounds for the current movie, Men In Black: International, and were asked about the progress of Gladiator 2 by HeyUGuys.

“We’re working with Ridley, that’s one we wouldn’t touch unless we felt in a way to do it was legitimate. We’re working with an amazing writer as well, Peter Craig,” said MacDonald.

Added Parkes: “It picks up the story 30 years later… 25 years later.”

It's thought that writer Craig, who adapted the Hunger Games books for the screen, and has been working on the new Top Gun movie, Top Gun: Maverick, is centring the story on the now grown-up son of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus.

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The original was a solid box office smash, making nearly $500 million (around $750 million in today's money).

Also starring Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed in his last role, Richard Harris, Djimon Hounsou, and Sir Derek Jacobi, it won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe as the wronged general Maximus Decimus Meridius.

It was announced last November that a sequel was in development, with Scott set to return to the director's chair.