The long-mooted sequel to Gladiator is apparently still a thing, with Ridley Scott suggesting it’s ready to go.
We’ve said it before: Ridley Scott is a busy man. Not only does he have two high-profile projects hitting cinema screens within the space of a few months, but he’s also deep into pre-production on Kitbag, a historical epic starring Joaquin Phoenix that will chart the life of Napoleon. On top of juggling The Last Duel, The House of Gucci and Kitbag, the 83-year old veteran director claims that he’s also been working on a sequel story to Gladiator.
What’s more, the script is being written, says Scott, right now with the aim of being good to go by the time Kitbag is in the can.
Scott, who was chatting to Empire for its new issue states: “I’m already having [the next] Gladiator written now. So when I’ve done [Kitbag], Gladiator will be ready to go.”
It’s certainly a remarkable announcement, given that Gladiator is now two decades old and in the least spoilery way possible, doesn’t really end in a fashion which makes a direct sequel possible (not that there wasn’t an attempt beforehand).
There’s also the fact that whereas some other iconic directors of his era, such as Spielberg, have actively stepped away from sequels – partly from disinterest, partly because they often offer diminished results – Scott has no compunction about embellishing his existing stories further.
Perhaps it’s no surprise though. Scott is a remarkable director, known for being as interested in the worlds he is depicting as the stories that take place inside of them. At the scripting phase of Blade Runner, he famously veered away from plotting the film’s story to demand his two screenwriters, Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, focus on what was ‘happening outside the window’. It seems the world of Gladiator is still one that Scott is drawn too, even though there may not be an obvious story to tell.
Still, we’ve heard plenty of promises from Scott in the past about sequels that, for whatever reason, never got off the ground, including a Gladiator sequel. As such, it’s a case of wait and see. One thing’s for sure though: whatever the workaholic Scott does do after Kitbag, we bet it doesn’t involve a long holiday.
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