Speaking with Total Film magazine, acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott addressed Gladiator 2’s long development period, having taken several years before it was able to move forward to its production stage. He revealed that they were initially having a difficult time finding the right story for the sequel.
“It didn’t have a script [before],” he said. “We tried, actually, four years ago, and I chose a very good writer who couldn’t get his head around it. He wrestled. He was terribly upset that he didn’t deliver. He’s a friend of mine. I said, ‘You’re not getting there?’ He said, ‘No.’”
Scott explained that the idea to set the sequel around an original character from the original movie came after the project stalled for a while. He also finally confirmed that Paul Mescal’s character Lucius is actually the son of Russell Crowe’s Maximus. Since the original movie never really clarified this, many fans have long been speculating about Lucius and Maximus’ familial connection.
“That took 10 months. So it went dead,” Scott continued. “And then we circled the wagons again, coming back with a very obvious idea, and why not? There’s a survivor. The survivor is the son of the union between Lucilla and Maximus.”
Who’s the cast of Gladiator 2?
Gladiator 2 is directed by Scott from a screenplay written by David Scarpa. Leading the long-awaited sequel is Mescal as Lucius, the son of Lucilla and Emperor Commodus’ nephew from the first installment. Joining Mescal are returning cast members Connie Nielsen as Lucilla, Djimon Hounsou as Juba, and Derek Jacobi as Gracchus. It will also feature Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, Fred Hechinger, May Calamawy, Lior Raz, and more.
The sequel is produced by Scott, Michael Pruss, Douglas Wick, and Lucy Fisher. The film is considered to be a joint-venture production between Paramount, Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, and Parkes/MacDonald Productions.