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Ridley Scott Wants to Bring a ‘Gladiator’ Sequel Back From the Dead

Gladiator Russell Crowe
Universal Pictures

It’s probably time to admit that we take Ridley Scott’s films more seriously than Scott himself. While we argue over cinematic universes, director’s cuts, and unnecessary sequels, Scott is out there having a good time making whatever movies pop into his mind at any given moment. Sometimes that means promising another half-dozen Alien movies before his newest one has even been released. Sometimes that means producing a Blade Runner sequel that few people wanted. And sometimes, just sometimes, it means bringing back a Roman warrior from the literal dead.

As part of the South by Southwest Film Festival this past weekend, Scott spoke with Entertainment Weekly (via iO9) about the possibility of a Gladiator sequel and bringing back Russell Crowe’s deceased character:

I know how to bring him back. I was having this talk with the studio  —  ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.

As both articles note, if Scott is feeling particularly ambitious, he could use the script from the Gladiator sequel that Crowe commissioned a few years back. That screenplay  —  written by musician and screenwriter Nick Cave  —  presented Maximus as a God of War-esque soldier who served the Greek deities, used by Jupiter and his children to wipe out the new threat that Christianity posed to their power. Cave’s script eventually ended with an immortal Maximus fighting countless wars throughout history. “ It was a stone cold masterpiece,” Cave told Mark Maron in 2013. “I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made.”

Whether Scott wants to use elements of Cave’s screenplay or has another approach in mind altogether, it won’t be long before the director tinkers with every pretty much every one of his beloved movies. And since he doesn’t seem to be taking himself too seriously, maybe we shouldn’t either?

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