It was all the way back in November 2018 when Deadline reported that Ridley Scott’s Oscar winner “Gladiator” would be getting a sequel penned by “Top Gun: Maverick” screenwriter Peter Craig. The first story details included the plot centering on Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s character Lucilla from the original film. Lucius is the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus, the usurper Roman emperor killed by Russell Crowe’s Maximus. Crowe’s character died at the end of the first movie, but the sequel finds Lucius greatly influenced by Maximus. Producers revealed in June 2019 that “Gladiator 2” would take place two decades after the original, which earned over $400 million worldwide and was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning for Best Picture and Best Actor.
Further details on “Gladiator 2” have remained under wraps since those updates, but now Ridley Scott told Empire magazine ahead of the release of “The Last Duel” that the next “Gladiator” movie is on his docket for right after the Napoleon epic “Kitbag.” That project, which will star Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor, was first announced in October 2020.
“I’m already having [the next] ‘Gladiator’ written now,” Scott said. “So when I’ve done Napoleon, ‘Gladiator’ will be ready to go.”
The Napoleon epic is on Scott’s immediate to-do list following the back-to-back releases of “The Last Duel” and “House of Gucci” this fall. Starring opposite Phoenix is Jodie Comer as Josephine. The “Killing Eve” Emmy winner earned raves out of Venice for her performance in “The Last Duel” and will reunite with Scott for “Kitbag.”
“The thing that really makes Napoleon tick is, why was he in so much need of Josephine?” Scott told Empire about the Napoleon movie. “There was a need for each other. And we think we’ve pinpointed what that was.”
Production on “Gladiator 2” was originally going to “happen very quickly” but Scott got busy with the HBO Max television series “Raised by Wolves” and the features “Last Duel” and “House of Gucci.” 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.”