In a radio interview, Russell Crowe also touched on the “Gladiator” sequel and was jealous of the new leading man Paul Mescal.
Ridley Scott’s sandal epic Gladiator, with a fantastic soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, made Australian actor Russell Crowe an overnight star in 2000. The then 35-year-old was no stranger at the time, had already created sensational works such as “Romper Stomper” and “L.A. Confidential” on the notch, but he didn’t want to succeed in doing the really big hit – until he was supposed to split skulls and melt hearts as the unshakeable Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius.
23 years have passed since then, and there were always rumors about a sequel, although the first film basically stands for itself and was actually completed satisfactorily. Nevertheless, due to the successful box office result of around 500 million US dollars worldwide, efforts were made to make another film possible, if necessary with incredibly far-fetched ideas. Thus Maximus should once have been constantly reborn and engaged in countless battles. Sounds more like a fanciful sequel to the Clash of the Titans series, doesn’t it? This idea had absolutely nothing to do with the grounded “Gladiator”. Glad it was ultimately discarded.
A sequel is actually being produced. Ridley Scott himself will be back in the director’s chair. Conceived by author David Scarpa (“The Last Stand”), the story takes place 30 years after the events of the first film and focuses on the adult Lucius (Paul Mescal), son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of the late Commodus ( Joaquin Phoenix).
It should be clear that Crowe can’t return as Maximus in this sequel, but flashbacks via de-aging technology would still be possible. But no one has contacted him so far, according to the mime in a radio interview on The Ryan Tubridy Show:
“I’m sure you’ll want to ask me about something when the time comes, but you haven’t mentioned anything in a long time. It’s a continuation of the storyline, but it takes place long after Maximus’ death, so it doesn’t really concern me. I’ve heard that young man, Paul [Mescal], is a good guy and I wish him the best of luck. I think they continue the story with a young Lucius playing the role of the Emperor. I think that’s a smart idea within the world of film that we’ve created.”
It remains to be seen whether “Gladiator 2” will still find an audience after such a long time – especially without Russell Crowe.
Gladiator: Russell Crowe looks back with nostalgia
When he was offered the role at the time, Russell accepted Crowe only to work with director Ridley Scott. He is said to have found the script to be pretty bad. In fact, it was revised over and over again throughout filming. In retrospect, however, the actor remembers the time with a certain nostalgic transfiguration:
“You know, the rose-tinted glasses of this experience are perfect now. Looking back, I love every minute of it – and that wasn’t the case then. I like being on a historical film set. Slipping into these types of costumes and these types of situations is very appealing to me. I’m a little jealous that others can now have the experience I once had.”
Fans of Russell Crowe, on the other hand, will soon see him in the horror film “The Pope’s Exorcist” (German cinema release on April 6, 2023) as the Vatican’s top exorcist.