“Gladiator 2” is officially moving forward with director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Peter Craig, Deadline reports. The storyline will center on Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s character Lucilla from the original film. Lucius is the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus, the Roman leader killed by Russell Crowe’s Maximus. Crowe’s character died at the end of the first movie, but the sequel will find Lucius greatly influenced by Maximus.
According to Deadline, production on “Gladiator 2” could “happen very quickly.” Scott is currently gearing up to film his first television series, the TNT drama “Raised by Wolves.” The “Gladiator” sequel is now being viewed as his next feature directorial effort. The original “Gladiator” opened May 5, 2000 and was a critical and box office sensation. The film earned over $400 million worldwide and was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning for Best Picture and Best Actor.
“Gladiator 2” is taking shape at Paramount. The studio has brought on Craig to work on the script. Craig and the studio joined forces for Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which is now filming. Craig’s other credits include Ben Affleck’s drama “The Town,” “12 Strong,” and the two-part “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.”
The film will return Scott to the swords-and-sandals genre he last visited with “Exodus: Gods and Kings” in 2014. Since then, Scott has gone on to direct “The Martian,” “Alien: Covenant,” and last year’s “All the Money in the World.” Scott has been a favorite of sequels throughout his career, not only returning to the “Alien” franchise but also producing “Blade Runner 2049.”
Casting for “Gladiator 2” has not been announced, nor has further plot details such as the age of Lucius. Original distributor Universal Pictures has the option to co-finance the picture. Expect more details on the sequel to break in the coming weeks.