18 years after Ridley Scott delivered Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’, the filmmaker has finally started the development of the film’s sequel.
’12 Strong’ scribe, Peter Craig has come on board to write a script for the follow-up. Rumours have it that the plot of the movie will follow the now grown up Lucius, son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). This would make some sense as Crowe’s Maximus was slain at the end of the film, making it impossible for him to feature. However, never rule out the impossible.
The film which was released in 2000 was Set in Roman times, the story of a once-powerful general forced to become a common gladiator, Maximus (Crowe). The emperor’s son, Phoenix’s Commodus, is enraged when he is passed over as heir in favour of his father’s favourite general. He kills his father and arranges the murder of the general’s family, and the general is sold into slavery to be trained as a gladiator – but his subsequent popularity in the arena threatens the throne.
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Directed by Scott, the film also starred Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed (in his final role), Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel, and Richard Harris.
The film went on to win multiple awards which included Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe and three other Oscars at the 73rd Academy Awards and also won Best Picture at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Producers Guild of America. The film grossed over $457 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2000.
There was talk in 2001 that a follow up was in development but this waned. In 2006, Scott and Crowe asked musician Nick Cave to pen a script for the follow-up, his script was rejected for being too far-fetched but it was said to follow Maximus after being reincarnated by the Roman gods and returned to Rome to defend Christians against persecution; then transported to other important periods in history, including World War II, the Vietnam War, and finally being a general in the modern-day Pentagon.