The Sequel To Russell Crowe’s Best Movie Is Happening And Happening Fast

Paramount has announced a release date of November 22, 2024 for the upcoming sequel to Russell Crowe's Oscar-winning movie Gladiator.

By Jennifer Asencio | Updated

News about a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 Oscar-winning film Gladiator has come to a head quickly as Paramount has announced a release date of November 22, 2024 for the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The plot centers around Lucius, who was a young boy when he was rescued by Russell Crowe’s character Maximus in the original movie. Paul Mescal is in negotiations to star as the film is in pre-production.

In the original movie, Russell Crowe plays a former general under Marcus Aurelius whose fortune turns when the emperor’s son Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, usurps the throne. He is forced into a life as a gladiator in the coliseums of ancient Rome, where he is able to inspire an uprising against the patricidal ruler. Gladiator won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role and is IMDB‘s #37 top-rated movie.

As Maximus died in the original film, the odds of Russell Crowe being in the sequel are slim, although not impossible. The unnamed project is about Lucius, the son of Lucilla and nephew of Commodus, who was doomed to a life under his uncle’s thumb until the interference of Maximus ends the emperor’s reign of terror. These events would have made a deep impression on the child, and the sequel will follow Lucius as a grown man years after the original movie took place.

Fans looking for Russell Crowe may not be disappointed, however, as there are plenty of ways Maximus can return in a sequel. He could perhaps be in flashback sequences, or he can appear in Lucius’s imaginings of the Elysium Fields in the same manner that Maximus imagined his wife and child. Although the actor has gotten older than Maximus was when he died in the original film, his aging could be explained away or touched up by CGI using techniques similar to those that de-aged Robert De Niro in The Irishman.

Russell Crowe and Djimon Hounsou in Gladiator. (2000)

The screenplay for the sequel is being written by David Scarpa, who has collaborated with Ridley Scott before and is also currently penning the script for an unnamed Napoleon Bonaparte project with the director. In addition to directing Russell Crowe to an Oscar win in Gladiator, Ridley Scott is known for a wide variety of popular films, including Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, The Martian, and most recently The Last Duel. He has also produced a wide variety of television shows and films, including the TV series The Man in the High Castle and The Good Fight and the movies Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.

The original Gladiator film drew $460 million, which would have been competitive with movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe if the film were released today, giving a hint of what the sequel could earn when it is released on November 22, 2024. However, the original film also starred Russell Crowe, whose presence in the movie could have contributed to its ticket sales. Only time will tell if the sequel can hold up to the original, although with Ridley Scott at the helm, it is certain to be well-made and thoughtful.