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Photograph: Scott Free Productions

What’s the deal with ‘Gladiator 2’?

Looks like Ridley Scott’s sword-and-sandals sequel is heading our way

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

It’s been 22 years since Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius hacked and slashed into film history in Ridley Scott’s smash-hit, Best Picture-winning epic, Gladiator. And it looks for all the world like the movie, if not its Roman hero, is coming back for a second outing. 

A snippet of Hollywood intel, courtesy of Puck, has Scott on the hunt for ‘key cast’ for his sequel. 

There’s also been recent sightings of members of the film’s production team in Ouarzazate, Morocco, with rumours that they were keen to negotiate access to one of the first Gladiator’s key locations – Atlas Studios – and its Gladiator props and sets.

Scott says that the screenplay is already written. ‘We have a good footprint, a good, logical place to go,’ he told Deadline in 2021. ‘You can’t just do another Gladiator type movie. You’ve got to [have] enough components from the first one to pick up the ball and continue it.’

There’s no sign of the director’s fondness for widescreen epics waning. He recently made The Last Duel and is currently putting the finishing touches on Napoleon with Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix.

With a first draft by The Town writer Peter Craig and Napoleon’s David Scarpa also working on the screenplay, Gladiator 2’s story would pick up with Lucius, the young nephew to the scheming, unscrupulous Commodus (Phoenix).

Will the massive success of Top Gun: Maverick ($1.48 billion and counting) make Hollywood bean counters more likely to take a punt on another legacy sequel of an iconic movie? Could be a good time to get your toga dry-cleaned.

Find out where Gladiator lands on our list of the 101 best action movies of all time.

The 100 greatest movies of all time.

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