Is Ridley Scott Reviving ‘Gladiator 2’ Despite Killing Maximus in the Original, Award-Winning Movie?

There have been several attempts at making a sequel to the award-winning movie, Gladiator. Nick Cave came up with a far-out solution that didn’t work. And now, Ridley Scott continues to work on reviving it, even though the hero died in the original movie! For a prolific director like Scott, revisiting a previous movie has proven too irresistible. You can include two Alien prequels, a Robin Hood remake, among others. Here’s the latest on a potential Gladiator sequel.

Nick Cave attempted to revive Maximus in ‘Gladiator 2’

There is always temptation in Hollywood to make sequels. This is especially the case with award-winning films. Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including best picture of 2000. It rebooted the epic historical drama with a slew of similar movies in the following decade. So, why not make a sequel? But didn’t the lead character die in the original?

According to Josh Hull’s Underexposed, Maximus would have been resurrected. Singer-songwriter Nick Cave wrote a story that began with Maximus awakening in purgatory. In this version, he is resurrected and sent to Earth to stop Lucius. Apparently, Commodus’s nephew is in the business of killing Christians in the Roman Empire. And Maximus’s son, Marius, is alive too preaching the word of Jesus. Father and son team up to defeat Lucius. But Maximus is tricked into killing his own son.

Just when you thought it could not get any weirder, Cave’s story goes into … time travel? Maximus finds himself fighting in the Crusades, WW2, and the Vietnam war. And how could this story possibly end? Maximus is revealed to be the secretary of defense at the Pentagon in present day. Say what? Points for creativity but obviously a pass from the studio.

Ridley Scott speaks into a microphone while wearing a black jacket and sitting in a gray chair.
Ridley Scott | Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)

Ridley Scott working on reviving ‘Gladiator 2’

Not content to revive his Alien franchise, Ridley Scott announced in 2018 that he and screenwriter Peter Craig have figured out a way to reintroduce Maximus. Scott also talked to Russell Crowe about returning to the role that made him famous. The sequel would be set at least 25 years after the original film and focus on a young Lucius. Paramount Pictures agreed to green-lit the sequel with Scott attached as director.

According to Collider, Connie Nielsen said earlier this year that the sequel may still be part of Scott’s plans after he completes his current movies. Scott is currently in post-production on two movies, House of Gucci with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver and The Last Duel with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

“I cannot tell you the countless times where I’ve seen people come up to me,” said Nielsen of Gladiator, “and start reciting back our dialogue because it touched them, it moved them.” Gladiator was about “tyranny versus freedom, and the willingness to do what needs to be done in order to free a people. And I don’t think that it would have been the same if it had just been a spectacle.”

Connie Nielsen at the Toronto Film Festival, 2019
Connie Nielsen Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for Epic Pictures)

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