It’s been 17 years since the original, and its ending was – well – somewhat final. However, Sir Ridley Scott seems up for making a sequel to ‘Gladiator.’
Beware of spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘Gladiator’ (in which case – come on, what have you been doing since 2000?)
The 79-year old British director tells Entertainment Weekly, “I know how to bring him back. I was having this talk with the studio — ‘but he’s dead.’ But 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. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”
As well as launching Crowe as a major leading man, ‘Gladiator’ also re-energised Scott’s directing career, the ‘Alien,’ ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Thelma and Louise’ legend having hit a bit of dry spell in mid-1990s with such critical and commercial disappointments as ‘1492,’ ‘White Squall’ and ‘GI Jane.’ By contrast, ‘Gladiator’ wound up making $456 million worldwide and scooping five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe (although, alas, no Best Director award).
Scott has barely stopped since ‘Gladiator,’ calling the shots on a further 15 movies in the past 17 years, including the upcoming ‘Alien: Covenant.’ He’s also reunited with Crowe on numerous occasions, with ‘A Good Year,’ ‘American Gangster,’ ‘Body of Lies’ and ‘Robin Hood.’
This is not the first time the notion of a ‘Gladiator’ sequel has been brought up. A script for a proposed follow-up was written by musician-turned-screenwriter Nick Cave (commissioned by Crowe himself), which has become one of the most notorious unmade films ever. Tackling head-on the problem of the protagonist having been killed off at the end of the first film, this sequel would have seen the slain Roman general turned gladiator Maximus resurrected by the Roman gods, and doing battle across the centuries, all the way up to World War II and ultimately the present day.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Universal passed on this idea as it was deemed a bit too weird – but then, surely there’s no way Maximus could be brought back to the screen without at least a little weirdness.
In any case, Scott seems plenty busy with other follow-ups to his time-honoured classics. As well as producing this years ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and directing ‘Alien: Covenant,’ the director suggested this week that as many as six more ‘Alien’ movies could be in the pipeline.