After nearly two decades of talk about it, Ridley Scott is going back to the Colosseum and has begun proper development of a sequel to 2000’s “Gladiator” at Paramount Pictures.
“The Town” and “12 Strong” scribe Peter Craig, who recently turned in a script for a new take on “Logan’s Run,” has been hired to pen the script but how the story will continue isn’t clear considering Russell Crowe’s Maximus character is killed by the end of the film. The most likely case is it will follow the now grown up Lucius, son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).
Crowe starred in the original as General Maximus Decimus Meridius who leads the Roman army to victory against the Germanic tribes and is loyal to Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) who wants him to succeed him as regent.
Marcus’ snivelling son Commodus, enraged by the news, murders his father and becomes Emperor. Maximus is left for dead while his family is brutally murdered, and he’s eventually forced to become a gladiator and return to Rome to fight whilst plotting his revenge against Commodus.
The film scored Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe’s work, while it was also a hit with $460 million at the worldwide box office. DreamWorks released the first film but is no longer involved. Co-producer Universal Pictures reportedly has the option to co-finance.
At one point over a decade ago, Scott and Crowe approached famed musician and “The Proposition” writer Nick Cave about doing a script. That version was a wild flight of fancy and would’ve seen Maximus being reincarnated by the Roman gods and transported to fight in important periods in history including World War II and the Vietnam War. It was rejected as being too far-fetched, and not in keeping with the spirit and theme of the original.