As Ridley Scott unveiled a sneak peak of his forthcoming Alien: Covenant at SXSW this week he added further fuel to the fire that he has the perfect way to bring Maximus Decimus Meridius back from the dead for a Gladiator sequel – if this was ever to happen.
First off, after 17 years since Scott and Russell Crowe’s turn as Gladiator do we really need to go down the route of another sequel, one that could potentially harm its reputation of being one of the best versions winning it the Best Picture award? Secondly, as Scott mentions Crowe has changed a lot in those 17 years, would he even be interested in resurrecting this character?
Back in 2002, Nick Cave wrote a sequel at Crowe’s request concentrating on Maximus’s afterlife but the premise was so absurd Crowe turned his nose up on the finished result. With numerous other attempts to get a sequel up and running hitting the creative differences wall, Scott and the studio Dreamworks gave up on the idea.
Ridley Scott told Entertainment Weekly at SXSW this week “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”.
We can’t help but speculate, could Maximus get a Jesus-like resurrection raising him from the dead or could he have faked his own death to live a peaceful existence in the countryside which could explain the older less fit casting of Russell Crowe? Whatever Scott has in mind, he certainly has opened a portal of intrigue and a heightened interest in a fighting return for the Gladiator.