“Gladiator 2” was first announced in November 2018, and producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald assure fans of the swords-and-sandal action movie that a follow-up is still gearing up for production. The producers were asked by HeyUGuys about the next “Gladiator” installment and revealed, “We’re working with Ridley. That’s one we wouldn’t touch unless we felt in a way to do it was legitimate. We’re working with an amazing writer as well — Peter Craig.”
Parkes added an intriguing new detail about the script: “It picks up the story 30 years later…25 years later.”
The original report on “Gladiator 2” mentioned the sequel would focus on Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s character Lucilla from Scott’s 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 and will not be a driving force in the sequel, but Maximus’ presence will be felt as he an inspirational figure for Lucius.
Parkes’ tip about the “Gladiator 2” timeline means the story will pick up with Lucius as a young adult. Lucius was played by Spencer Treat Clark. The jury is still out on whether Clark will return to the role, although he did recently reprise a years-old role in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable” sequel “Glass.”
The original “Gladiator” was set in 180 AD. Production on “Gladiator 2” was originally going to “happen very quickly” but Scott has been working on his first television series, the TNT drama “Raised by Wolves.” The “Gladiator” sequel is set to be his first feature project following the TV gig.
“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 (Crowe). The sequel is taking shape at Paramount, which brought on screenwriter Craig after he helped work on Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick.” Craig’s other credits include Ben Affleck’s drama “The Town,” “12 Strong,” and the two-part “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.”