Russell Crowe has opened up about one of the many, many proposed plans for the long touted Gladiator sequel, revealing that producer Doug Wick wanted the film to open up with Maximus’ resurrection.
“I haven't talked to Doug in a long, long time. Last time I talked to Doug, he said he had this great idea where Maximus gets carried from the stadium and they pull back this big rock and he gets put into this cave and then the rock closes over and he's anointed with oils. And then the rock opens up and he comes out.”
“And I said, ‘Doug, I don't think we have the rights to that story.’ But that was a long, long time ago and I don't think he appreciated my sense of humour at the time.”
During the same conversation, Crowe also revealed that he hasn’t been involved in any recent discussions about a Gladiator follow-up, before then trying to downplay the chances of it actually ever happening.
“If they’re having conversations about that, those conversations haven’t included me. I’m not sure what they have in mind. At all… Can I just say, with a pinch of salt, they have genuinely been having the same conversations since the year 2000.”
There have been numerous different incarnations of the Gladiator sequel over the last 20 years. Originally it was suggested that it would be a prequel, then there rumours that it would pick up where the original finished and explore Maximus in the afterlife.
Read more: Gladiator 2 update
All the while, Ridley Scott maintained his interest in once again directing the film, while Nick Cave was even hired to write a version at one point. Cave’s take proved to be way too ambitious, as it involved Maximus being reincarnated by the Roman Gods and sent to World War II and The Vietnam War, while producer Walter Parkes even suggested that a sequel would follow the parallel structure of The Godfather Part II.
Everything went quiet until 2018, when Paramount Pictures announced that they were again developing a sequel, but there still hasn’t actually been any concrete information about what Gladiator 2 could involve.