It seems such a long time ago that Gladiator walked away with not only $457million at the worldwide box office but five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe. Made at a time when shared universes and countless sequels weren’t the favourite thing (well, at least to the extent that they are now), Gladiator was a rare blockbuster that was unto itself. But that’s not to say they haven’t tried to bring it back.
After the success of the first film, many rumours surfaced that a sequel was in the works but nothing really materialised – with the issue of Crowe’s General Maximus’ death a big sticking point – but thus far it has rightly been left alone. But director Ridley Scott is still a little interested in what could be and has said he has an idea for what the sequel could be if it ever happened.
Speaking to EW at SXSW, which is currently taking place in Texas, he spoke about the possibility and the idea he has been toying with over the years with how he would bring Maximus “back to life”, saying:
“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 [Crowe]’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”
Indeed he isn’t the only one who has tried to bring him back with Nick Cave (Lawless, The Proposition) at one point brought on to write a script for the film, and had quite an outlandish idea of how to do it. Speaking to The Playlist in 2013, he said:
“[Maximus] goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers… [It would be revealed] that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods. He becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20 minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild,”
It remains to be seen if the sequel, in whatever shape or form it may come, will work its way to the silver screen but stranger things have happened so don’t count this one out just yet.