Gladiator 2: has sequel been confirmed, is Russell Crowe cast, has a release date been announced?

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A sequel to the 2000 historical drama epic Gladiator is in the works, with Ridley Scott returning to direct

The 2000 historical drama Gladiator has become a much-loved classic since its release. The film won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was a commercial success too, making more than $460 million globally. The film followed a Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridius, who falls out of favour with the Emperor Commodus. His family are killed and Maximus is captured and forced to fight as a gladiator until his death.

Maximus forms a friendship with fellow gladiator Juba and the pair work together to survive in the arena. Fuelled by rage over the murder of his wife and child, Maximus is determined to rise to the top of the gladiatorial lists and exact revenge on the man responsible.

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Now, almost a quarter of a century later, a sequel to Gladiator is in the works, and director Ridley Scott is returning to helm the project. This is everything we know so far about Gladiator 2:

Russell Crowe and Djimon Hounsou in GladiatorRussell Crowe and Djimon Hounsou in Gladiator
Russell Crowe and Djimon Hounsou in Gladiator | Universal Pictures

What will Gladiator 2 be about?

The exact plot for the sequel is unknown, but it has been reported that the film will focus on Empress Lucilla’s son Lucius, who was a child in the first film. Lucius was also the nephew of Emperor Commodus, the antagonist of the first film, played by Joaquin Phoenix.

In the true history of the Roman Empire, Lucius was a senator who eventually attained the rank of Consul, one of the highest political positions of the time. Not much is known about Lucius’ life, but due to his high office, he will have been involved in his fair share of political intrigue.

The sequel’s screenplay will be written by Peter Craig, whose recent credits include 12 Strong, The Batman, and Top Gun: Maverick.

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Will Russell Crowe be in Gladiator 2?

It’s very unlikely that Russell Crowe, who starred as the titular gladiator Maximus in the first film, will return in the sequel. Maximus died at the end of the first film soon after defeating the emperor Commodus in the arena.

Fans will be hoping that Crowe could still appear in a flashback - as the sequel is expected to arrive almost 25 years after the first movie, this would require liberal use of de-aging technology. Crowe has several other film projects in the works and has not yet signed up to appear in the Gladiator sequel.

Djimon Hounsou is rumoured to be returning in Gladiator 2Djimon Hounsou is rumoured to be returning in Gladiator 2
Djimon Hounsou is rumoured to be returning in Gladiator 2 | Getty Images for 20th Century St

Who is in the cast of Gladiator 2?

According to Puck News, producers are currently casting the lead actors for the sequel, so the film’s cast is not yet known. According to IMDB, Spencer Treat Clark, who played Lucius in the first film, will reprise the role for the sequel.

Gladiator marked Clark’s first major film role and he has since starred in Mystic River, The Last House on the Left, Glass, and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. His TV roles include playing Werner von Strucker in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Adrian Dolan in Animal Kingdom.

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Connie Nielsen, who played Lucilla in the first film is also expected to return in the same role. Nielsen’s other roles include playing Hippolyta in the DC films Wonder Woman and Justice League. She has also starred in action film Nobody, and drama series Close to Me.

Another original cast member rumoured to be making a return is Djimon Hounsou who played Maximus’ ally Juba. Hounsou is known for roles in the drama films Blood Diamond and Amistad. He has also played Korath in the MCU, and Wizard in DC movies Shazam! and Black Adam.

When is the Gladiator 2 release date?

A release date for the sequel has not yet been confirmed, however with casting currently underway and filming locations being secured, production is expected to begin in May of this year. Producers have suggested that the film could be ready for release in early 2024.

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