Ridley Scott is working on a ‘Gladiator’ sequel

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Ridley Scott is reportedly working on a Gladiator sequel. The original movie, released in 2000, garnered 11 Oscar nominations and five wins, including one for Best Picture.

It starred Russell Crowe as Maximus and Joaquin Phoenix as the power-hungry Commodus. Maximus, having died at the end of the first film, presumably won’t be returning.

According to Deadline, Scott and his Scott Free banner moving forward with the sequel. Paramount are also backing the project, with Peter Craig (The Town) writing the script.

The story will reportedly focus on Commodus’ nephew and son of Lucilla, Lucius, the young boy who was saved by Russell Crowe’s Maximus in the original film.

After the success of the original film, Nick Cave took it upon himself to write his own script for a sequel that would see Maximus brought back from the dead via the body of a slain Christian martyr.

“(Crowe) rang me up and asked if I wanted to write ‘Gladiator 2,” he said. “For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask. ‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in ‘Gladiator 1′?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out.’ So, he 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.”

Nick Cave

He continued: “I wanted to call it ‘Christ Killer’ and in the end you find out 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 was a stone cold masterpiece. I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made. Let’s call it a popcorn dropper.”

In 2009, Gladiators director Ridley Scott told UGO: “We tried [to go with Cave’s script]. Russell didn’t want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well. When I say ‘worked very well’, I don’t refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well. Storytelling, [it] works brilliantly. I think [Cave] enjoyed doing it, and I think it was one of those things that he thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s a sequel where we can adjust the fantasy and bring [Maximus] back from the dead.”