Gladiator 2 Budget Just Blew Our Minds And It’s Getting Bigger

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated sequel, Gladiator 2, has seen its budget surge from $165 million to an eye-watering $310 million. The unexpected escalation in production costs has left Paramount executives reeling and questioning the management of the project.

Don’t Blame The Hollywood Strikes

Gladiator 2 is set to release on November 24 of this year. The filming for the movie has wrapped and executives are finally getting their first looks of the footage. According to reports, executives are “blown away” by Gladiator 2, but not as much as they’re mind-blown from the budget.

Sources close to the Gladiator 2 production revealed that the ballooning budget was not solely attributed to last year’s strike-related shutdowns, which reportedly cost Paramount $600,000 per week during the hiatus. Although the shutdown did contribute to the increased expenses, the total losses incurred upon production’s resumption in December amounted to around $10 million.

Why Did The Budget Balloon?

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And while $10 million is nothing to sneeze at, it’s just a small percentage of the $145 total added costs. Some other areas where the remaining $135 added to the Gladiator 2 budget could have arisen may be connected to some of the controversies the film saw during production. 

There have been a series of unfortunate incidents that could have pushed the boundaries of the Gladiator 2 budget. There was a stunt gone awry in June that resulted in four crew members hospitalized with non-life-threatening burn injuries, no doubt costing the production a small fortune in hospital fees, workers’ compensation, and possible reshoots. Additionally, allegations of animal abuse surfaced in July, prompting PETA to send an open letter to Ridley Scott, citing concerns about abusive treatment of horses and monkeys on set, though those on the production set denied the accusations.

The Cast

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The star-studded cast, featuring Denzel Washington, Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and Connie Nielsen, coupled with the direction of Ridley Scott and the screenplay by David Scarpa, had initially set high expectations for the sequel. However, Gladiator 2’s exorbitant budget increase has raised questions about the necessity and viability of the project.

Hefty Budgets Don’t Always Equal Blockbuster Hits

Speculators are wondering if the movie will be worth the astronomical cost. After all, Ridley Scott’s track record as a director is not perfect. He’s marked by both critical acclaim and commercial success, but he’s also got a slew of mediocre films on his roster. While some view Gladiator 2 as a promising addition to Scott’s repertoire, others see the large budget as one more reason to be apprehensive. 

One Of The Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

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Gladiator 2’s $310 million budget officially makes the sequel one of the top 10 most expensive movies ever made. Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially holds the title for the most expensive movie due to its $447 million budget (though Avatar: The Way of Water might be the real winner if it costs on the upper end of its reported $350 – $460 million budget).

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Justice League, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi tie for the 10th most expensive movie ever made, each with a budget of $300, which means that Gladiator 2’s $310 knocks all three of them out of the water and will officially be the 10th most expensive film ever made.