Connie Nielsen says 'Gladiator 2' is still alive, depending on Ridley Scott's 'tight schedule'

Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)
Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)

Connie Nielsen has revealed plans are still afoot for a sequel to Gladiator — 20 years after the original movie graced cinema screens.

The actor, who played Lucilla in the film, told EW that all involved are waiting for a gap in director Ridley Scott's "very tight schedule" in order to make the project happen.

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Rumours of a Gladiator sequel had swirled for years given the popularity of the Oscar-winning historical drama, but the project gained momentum in 2018.

The new project was set to focus on Lucius, the son of Nielsen's character — sister of Joaquin Phoenix's malevolent Emperor Commodus.

“I think it's just a question of which film is coming first in Ridley's very tight schedule,” Nielsen said.

Connie Nielsen as Lucilla in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)
Connie Nielsen as Lucilla in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)

“And then I think it's a question of COVID and can we get back to work.

“But I would be interested in doing [the film], for sure. I mean, it's obviously a wonderful project, so of course I would be interested.”

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Given his death in the first movie, Russell Crowe's Maximus would be unlikely to return in a large role.

However, Scott has an idea to bring back Maximus, telling EW in 2017: “There is a way of bringing him back.

“Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit.”

Connie Nielsen and Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)
Connie Nielsen and Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)

Nielsen also revealed that Scott was instrumental in making the Lucilla character more progressive, ensuring she was “the smartest person in the room” in her scenes.

She added: “Ridley really was intent on making this character an equal to those men, if not even more than an equal.

“And I think that he heard me loud and clear when I complained at our very first meeting of the way that Hollywood treats women.”

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Gladiator was a huge success with audiences and critics on its original release, scoring $461m (£378m) at the worldwide box office.

It won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe, from 12 nominations.