Ridley Scott is developing Gladiator 2 with screenwriter Peter Craig, with the intention of directing it himself. This isn't the first time the filmmaker has made plans for a sequel to his Best Picture Oscar-winning swords and sandals epic, either. Back in the 2000s, Scott had Nick Cave put together a Gladiator sequel script where Maximus (Russel Crowe) is resurrected, following his death in the fighting arena at the conclusion of the original movie.
To be clear, Cave's Gladiator 2 screenplay revolved around Maximus literally coming back from the dead and joining forces with not only his old buddy Juba (Djimon Hounsou), but also a group of embattled Christians, in order to take on Lucius: the now grown son of Maximus' ex-lover Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who's begun waging war against the entirety of Christianity. And while that version of the film has never came to pass, Scott has continued to talk about a Gladiator sequel over the years since, having never given up on the idea altogether.
According to Deadline, Scott is actively working with Craig on a new Gladiator 2 script draft over at Paramount. The plan is still for the film to focus on an adult Lucius - who, as you might recall, was essentially saved by Maximus as a child, when the Hispano-Roman general turned gladiator defeated Lucius's conniving uncle Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in the ring and, thusly, avenged his family's deaths, before succumbing to his fatal wounds. Details beyond that are being kept under lock and key for the time being, including whether Jubu will return (in turn, paying off his promise to see Maximus again, from the end of the original movie).
Craig is known for having written or cowritten acclaimed films like The Town, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Blood Father, and most recently worked on the script for the currently-filming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. Deadline is also reporting that Scott remains attached to helm Disney's Merlin Saga adaptation and suggests that, between that and Gladiator 2, the filmmaker is more likely to tackle the Mouse House's Arthurian adventure before he heads back to ancient Rome (assuming the Gladiator sequel actually moves forward at all, this time around).
Scott is known for moving rapidly from project to project, so there's a reasonable chance that even if he does direct The Merlin Saga next, the Gladiator sequel might not be far behind it. On the one hand, the latter film is certainly an intriguing prospect and would very much benefit from having Scott back at the helm, seeing as he remains the modern master of the swords and sandals epic. On the other hand, Scott's recent return to the Alien franchise (via the prequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant) has gotten a pretty divisive reception and some might prefer if he left well enough alone with Gladiator, for related reasons.
We will bring you more details on Gladiator 2 as they become available.