Russell Crowe was recently a guest on Australia’s Fitzy & Wippa radio show, where he confirmed the obvious: He won’t be returning for the Gladiator sequel .
This news probably won’t shock anyone, but it’s equally important to hear it from the person concerned.
Obviously, Massimo Decimo Meridio died at the end of the original film, but over the course of twenty years there have also been iterations of this project that involved his return (from the world of the dead). This is no longer the case, because David Scarpa ‘s script focuses on Lucio ( Paul Mescal ), son of Lucilla ( Connie Nielsen ) and, in secret, of Massimo himself.
Crowe said he still spoke to Ridley Scott about the project:
We had dinner together and talked about it. So I know more or less what the story is going to be. But yeah, if you recall, there was a little boy who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to my speech, “My name is…”. Now that little boy has grown up and become emperor. I don’t know what else happens at that point, but that’s the idea. So it’s not a remake and it’s not a direct sequel. It’s not set the day after, but thirty years later or something like that.
Historically, Lucius Aurelius Commodus Pompeianus, nephew of Commodus, did not become emperor. Russell Crowe may have been wrong, simply, or the movie could take a different tack from the story.
The movie that didn’t happen
The curious thing is that, at one point in the long gestation of Gladiator 2 , the musician Nick Cave wrote a draft of the screenplay. In it, Maximus was resurrected by the Roman gods and sent to Earth to try to stop the ascent of Christ and his disciples. During the mission, Massimo fell into a trap and killed his own son by mistake. Sentenced to live forever, Massimo would therefore have crossed the historical periods, fighting in the Crusades, in the Second World War and in Vietnam. In the end it was discovered that Massimo, nowadays, worked at the Pentagon.
In the past, however, Ridley Scott has revealed that he preferred a realistic approach to the material, while Russell Crowe would have preferred a fantasy approach. Considering Scott will return to direct the sequel, evidently – and thankfully – he won the vision.