The sword and sandal epics of classic Hollywood have for the most part fallen by the wayside. Nowadays big CGI heavy movies revolving around Transformers, superheroes, dinosaurs, unbelievable car sequences, and Star Wars are the top films. However, one of the last truly great sword and sandal pictures came from Ridley Scott in 2000 with Gladiator. The film thrived with its monstrous sets and battle sequences, led of course by Russell Crowe as Maximus.
The movie came to a fitting end for the acclaimed warrior after finally besting Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) as he slipped into the afterlife. With the film still being held in high regard for many, the movie seems to stand alone perfectly. However, Scott is apparently interested in turning this into a franchise and already has an idea in mind.
While speaking at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Scott was asked by EW about the possibility of a sequel - which has reportedly been in development since 2009. The director not only seemed to confirm that he is interested in making a sequel, but revealed he has an idea for the story, as long as Crowe will return.
I know how to bring him back. I was having this talk with the studio — ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.
This statement is far more noteworthy as Scott mentions that he has specifically spoken to the studio about making the sequel happen. Assuming they have figured out a story that will retain Crowe's character - possibly showing his exploration of the afterlife itself - it appears there is a very real possibility that a Gladiator sequel could happen. That said, this is only talk right now and no official plans have been set into motion, but if the reaction to Scott's comments is great, Universal could be more inclined to make it happen.
If a Gladiator sequel does become a reality, it will only further show the wave that Scott is currently riding. Scott had experienced a number of rough years with poorly received films, but it was his return to the Alien franchise with Prometheus that started to turn things around. Even though that movie itself is very divisive, he truly won most audiences over with The Martian. Now, he has been able to move ahead without a problem on Alien: Covenant and has said he wants to stick with the franchise moving forward. If Covenant is another hit for Scott, a sequel to Gladiator should be closer to happening, even if it is something people are not currently begging to see.
We’ll keep you updated on Gladiator as more information becomes available.