Gladiator 2 found itself long trapped in motion picture development limbo. Good reasons existed for why the sequel to the Best Picture of the Year 2000 never made it past the writing stage. The stand-alone film wasn’t designed as a franchise. The lead character died making a direct sequel impossible. Director Ridley Scott still chose to pursue continuing the story of Maximus. Gladiator 2 officially enters active development. Based on scant details, the film won’t feature the continuing adventures of Maximus. Marcus Aurelius’ grandson, Lucius, would take center stage.
Ridley Scott does maintain interest in bringing Russell Crowe back to the role of Maximus. Anyone assuming Maximus will appear strictly in cameo flashback scenes may be in for a shock. Scott wants the character to play a more significant role. Doing so would be difficult logic-wise since the character died at the original film’s conclusion.
Plans for a Gladiator sequel date back several years. The original screenplay drifted into fantasy territory as it featured Maximus rising from the dead. The genre flipping from melodrama to fantasy adventure seemed a bit much. Reportedly, the screenplay failed to reach Academy Award levels of quality. In fact, the script turned out to be awful. Undaunted, Scott continued his intentions to make a sequel to the film.
Scott appears quite interested in bringing new chapters to films he previously crafted. New entries for Blade Runner and the Alien franchise hit theaters. Unfortunately, these films did poorly at the box office. Would Gladiator 2 change the downward trend? 18 years passed so far. The new Blade Runner film showed audiences don’t always react well to sequels to features produced decades earlier. And Gladiator doesn’t come from the sci-fi genre. Sci-fi fans maintain long memories. New fans are willing to give older films a chance. Gladiator comes from the historical drama realm. Do they even make sequels to these types of projects?
Gladiator 2 could actually hit screens one day. Odder sequel concepts did roll in front of cameras in the past. Would the sequel have a chance at actually making any money? That’s the big question mark here. If the studio feels the sequel’s development shows a money loser, no one will back the project.