Director Ridley Scott, ready to resume production on Gladiator 2, recently revealed a version of the story that included Russell Crowe. Speaking on the ReelBlend Podcast via Yahoo! Entertainment, the filmmaker explained he found a workaround to bring back Maximus (Crowe), who died in the arena at the hands of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).
How Maximus Was Supposed To Return
“Nick Cave wrote the script, but I had the idea. I knew how to bring him back through a portal, back to the real world,” Scott said, describing a version of Gladiator 2. “I’m not going tell you what it is, because somebody will steal it. I talked to Nick every other day for about a month as he was writing it. “And so I said, ‘We can bring him back this way.'”
“And what I want to do is start the film in Styx, on the edge of the ocean, and you see him, this warrior, wandering in armor,” Scott added. “Then it’s Maximus wandering, looking for where he’s going to go next. That’s Scene One.” Unfortunately, that version of Gladiator 2 experienced several setbacks, resulting in a nearly 25-year hiatus between the original film and the upcoming sequel.
The Cast Of Gladiator 2
Although Russell Crowe’s involvement in the upcoming Gladiator 2 seems improbable, the movie features an impressive ensemble cast, which includes Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, Fred Hechinger, and Pedro Pascal. Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, and Derek Jacobi will reprise their roles from 2000’s Gladiator.
What Is Gladiator 2 About?
Gladiator 2 is written by David Scarpa and is scheduled for release on November 22, 2024. While exact plot details are under wraps, the story will follow Lucius Verus (Paul Mescal), the grown-up nephew of Commodus, who was saved by Maximus in Gladiator. Interestingly, Ridley Scott only became aware of Mescal after watching him in the first four episodes of the miniseries Normal People.
The discovery coincided with the development of Gladiator 2, prompting Scott to watch the entire miniseries and subsequently cast Mescal in the lead role. Scott believed that Mescal could deliver a performance comparable to Russell Crowe’s. Austin Butler, Richard Madden, and Miles Teller were also considered for the role.
However, Mescal’s selection for Gladiator 2 was influenced by the positive reception of his performance in the West End revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. It was later confirmed that John Mathieson would return as the cinematographer for the film along with costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max, all of whom worked on the original movie.
Production And Setbacks
Production on Gladiator 2 was slated to take place in May 2023 in Ouarzazate, Morocco. Preparations, including set construction, began in April within the city. Filming officially kicked off in June 2023, with plans for additional shooting locations in Malta and the United Kingdom over the subsequent four months.
Unfortunately, an incident involving a fire occurred on June 7, resulting in injuries to six Gladiator 2 crew members. Filming stopped once more in July due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Filming is set to resume on December 4 in Malta.
Ridley Scott’s Napoleon
Along with Gladiator 2, Ridley Scott is also working on the historical biopic Napoleon. The story chronicles the life of Napoleon Bonaparte (Joaquin Phoenix), his rise to power, and his relationship with Empress Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). The movie was released in cinemas on November 22 and will soon be available on Apple TV+.
While Napoleon has been praised for its outstanding costumes, beautiful cinematography, bold imagery, and captivating score, some reviews have criticized the portrayal of Napoleon as grumpy and irritable, significantly deviating from historical accounts.