The sword and sandals epics of classic Hollywood are largely a thing of the past nowadays, but arguably the last great film this kind was Gladiator. Directed by Ridley Scott and released in 2000, the film depicted the ancestral cage match of the ancient Roman Empire and went on to win five Oscars at the 2001 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Gladiator has a pretty definitive ending and is a great stand alone tale, but Scott has been in a sequel mood, and he's got ideas for how a Gladiator 2 could actually work...as long as original star Russell Crowe is down.
I know how to bring him back. I was having this talk with the studio --- 'but he's dead.' But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don't know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell's changed a little bit. He's doing something right now but I'm trying to get him back down here.
Ridley Scott was present at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday and Entertainment Weekly took the chance to ask him about this long-rumored sequel to Gladiator. What's most interesting to note about this is that Scott has actively pursued this as a project, as opposed to just mulling over the idea in his head. He even went as far as to speak to a studio about it, so this might have more potential than most would think. He admits that a lot of this depends on Russell Crowe returning to the role, but Scott is in the middle of trying to sway him.
Those who remember Gladiator may be confused over how a sequel is even possible, considering that Crowe's Maximus died at the end of the film. The general turned gladiator Maximus finally killed his nemesis Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), before succumbing to his own injuries, eventually meeting his family in the afterlife. Not a whole lot of room for a sequel there, but one option for a possible continuation could potentially explore Maximus' adventures in the afterlife.
Ridley Scott didn't exactly deliver the best work of his career after Gladiator, but he started to make a comeback with the Alien prequel Prometheus. That's a divisive film if there ever was one, but his Oscar-nominated The Martian was much more universally pleasing. Scott is now returning to the Alien franchise with the long in development Alien: Covenant, which in more than one way looks to capture the spirit of the original horror sci-fi flick. Scott is looking to stay with the Alien franchise as long as he can, but that doesn't mean he can't afford a break for Gladiator 2.
It's tough to say if a Gladiator 2 is actually on the way but Scott fans still have Alien: Covenant to look forward to, which is expected to hit theaters on May 19, 2017.