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Ridley Scott Just Gave Fans A Huge Update About Gladiator 2

Released in 2000, "Gladiator," the story of a Roman general named Maximus (Russell Crowe) who seeks revenge after being forced into slavery, was a landmark sword-and-sandal epic that thrilled audiences and critics alike. The movie made over $460 million at the worldwide box office, according to Box Office Mojo, and was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning five, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe. To say the movie was a success would be an understatement of historic proportions. And yet, the award-winning formula of ancient Roman political drama and breathtaking action sequences was never capitalized on in a sequel or follow-up. However, that may soon change.

The film's director Ridley Scott recently revealed that "Gladiator 2" is close to becoming a reality. Speaking to Empire, Scott said, "I'm already having [the next] Gladiator written now." He went on to clarify that when he finishes work on "Kitbag," his upcoming drama about Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte, "Gladiator will be ready to go."

That is news that should thrill both fans of the original and lovers of action-packed historical epics alike. It also raises a ton of questions: Will this be a direct sequel? An unrelated spiritual successor? Is the original cast reprising their roles? Although little has been confirmed as of now, there are some things we can parse out based on previous reports about the sequel.

What's the deal with Gladiator 2?

There were plans for a sequel to "Gladiator" in the early 2000s, but by 2006, the idea had been put on ice (via Rotten Tomatoes). The thaw happened in 2018 when Deadline reported that plans for a "Gladiator 2" were being hammered out. According to their sources at the time, the story would focus on the character Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark), a young Roman noble from the first movie who would grow up having been inspired by the bravery of Maximus.

In 2019, the producers of the sequel allegedly tapped Peter Craig, who has worked on screenplays for movies like "The Town" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay," to pen "Gladiator 2." According to Movie Web, producer Walter F. Parkes also clarified that the movie would take place 25 to 30 years after the original. How many of those particulars will be reflected in the final product remains to be seen, however.

Then in April 2021, Australian celebrity news site New Idea reported that Chris Hemsworth allegedly tried to persuade Crowe to develop a "Gladiator" sequel while they were shooting "Thor: Love and Thunder" together. Apparently, at the suggestion of Hemsworth's wife Elsa Pataky, the idea was for Hemsworth to play the son of Maximus. Now, of all the "Gladiator 2" rumors swirling, this one seems the most likely to be pure fantasy, but the idea of Hemsworth and Crowe teaming up is too good to not mention. 

Whatever ends up happening with the sequel's development, it appears that we are closer than ever to finally seeing "Gladiator 2."