Gladiator is arguably one of the best films of the past 25 years, so it goes without saying the sequel has a lot to live up to. That’s especially true when it must do so without one of the key actors that helped make the original so memorable, as Russell Crowe led the charge as Maximus. It turns out that even though Crowe is still enjoying the reception of that movie with fresh roles in Hollywood, he’s “not entertained” to be left out of Gladiator 2, which has been in development for a while.
Russell Crowe recently did interviews for his latest movie, The Pope’s Exorcist, and of course he was asked about the filming of the Gladiator sequel. When asked by Collider about the things he hoped to see in the movie, the actor confessed the only thing he could really feel in regards to the upcoming Ridley Scott movie is jealousy:
Gladiator does have legs, and it’s fair to say it played a part in Russell Crowe’s continued success in Hollywood. While Crowe was on a solid run in Hollywood when Gladiator came his way, the movie netted him his first and only Academy Award for Best Actor, and it also ended up winning the Best Picture category.
If the fact that a sequel is being made wasn’t evidence enough, Russell Crowe confirmed that Gladiator is still a well-liked movie. Decades after its release, Crowe made a bold claim that isn’t too hard to believe after taking a glance at my local listings:
Sure enough, anyone with Showtime or the streaming add-on via a Hulu or Paramount+ subscription can watch Gladiator in the coming days if they’re in the United States. Gladiator is a well-liked film, and perhaps the sequel could pave the way for a new Hollywood franchise.
Of course, the million-dollar question remains what exactly is happening in Gladiator 2. We know that Paul Mescal will play an adult version of the first movie’s character Lucius. Beyond that, we probably know more about the absolutely batshit-sounding sequel that was proposed long ago than we know about this upcoming movie, but the hype for the film remains high, especially with rumors of big names like Denzel Washington being involved.
And if Russell Crowe can’t be a part of the movie, perhaps it’s the next best thing for him not to openly trash it for excluding him. It’s only natural he’d want to be a part of a movie that meant so much to his career, but maybe, for the sake of the original, it’s best that Maximus stays dead and isn’t brought back via flashbacks, de-aging or any other means of Hollywood magic. It’s probably best to let this new movie stand with what it has on its own, and hopefully it’ll have just as long-lasting of a legacy as the original.
Gladiator 2 is still in the works, but we don’t have any idea when it’s arriving or when a release date will even be announced. As for The Pope’s Exorcist, it’s in theaters on Friday, April 14th, and is just one of many scary movies coming out in 2023.