Since he died at the end, there is a scant chance that Maximus will appear in the sequel to Gladiator, and the actor who played the character, Russell Crowe, says there are no plans to bring him back even for a flashback. Instead, part two will focus on someone else, a young man Maximus saved when he was little.
“Yeah, we’ve had dinner and talked about it and all that stuff. So I know roughly how he’s [Ridley Scott] shaping the story,” Crowe said on the Fitzy & Wippa Podcast concerning what he knows. “But yeah, if you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to the ‘My name is’ speech.”
Crowe does not know much about the film but is clear what it is. “So that young kid has grown up, and he’s now the Emperor. I don’t know what else happens at that point, so that’s the idea. So it’s not a remake. And it’s not a direct sequel. It’s not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something,” he added.
Ridley Scott is returning to direct from a script by his collaborator on All the Money in the World David Scarpa. The not-direct sequel has been in the works for at least five years and, according to Scott, is slated as his next movie after he is done with the Napoleon biopic Kitbag starring Gladiator’s villain Joaquin Phoenix.
“First of all, I love doing period films. I love the research. I love to create sort of smells of the period,” Scott said to Deadline in 2021 via Comicbook.com. “I think what we did with the first Gladiator…I don’t like being critical of other things that have happened before, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Hollywood Roman epics, honestly.”
He added, “They felt artificial and so, when I was asked to consider a script, the script was not very good.” Scott recalled being given an illustration called “For Those About to Die” in which a guy is “about to tuna fork this poor bastard” in the Coliseum. Upon seeing that, he was sold and wanted to make the movie.
“He’s got this thing in his neck, and he’s looking up for permission to kill…” Scott said, “that’s never been done properly before. Never. I said, I’ll do it. He said you will? I said yes. Did you want to read the script? I said no, and we went off and hit the ground running around the table, and evolved the new material.”
The casting is underway and it will be headlined by Irish actor Paul Mescal who plays Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen). He appears to be the main character that the movie catches up with after thirty years, and whom Crowe referred to. Aside from the latter, other names Ridley Scott worked with behind the scenes are returning. No release date is set.