Ridley Scott’s Gladiator proved so popular that not only did it manage to earn $460 million at the box office and win five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor, it single-handedly reinvigorated Hollywood’s interest in the lavish, big-budget and star-powered historical epic.
Troy, The Last Samurai, Alexander, King Arthur and more all arrived within the space of a few years, while Scott himself returned to the genre twice more with Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, but audience interest eventually fizzled out. We’ve spent the last 20 years hearing about a potential Gladiator sequel, including Nick Cave’s infamously bonkers time-traveling pitch, but it’s looking like it might actually happen at long last.
Scott has 14th Century drama The Last Duel arriving with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer arriving in a couple of weeks, then he’s moving on to Napoleon biopic Kitbag with Joaquin Phoenix and Comer immediately after that. In a new interview with Empire Magazine, the 83-year-old said that he’s planning Gladiator 2 once he’s cleared his slate.
“I’m already having the next Gladiator written now. So when I’ve done Napoleon, Gladiator will be ready to go.”
We haven’t seen a new Scott feature for four years, but the pandemic means we’re getting two in the space of six weeks, with House of Gucci coming to theaters on November 24. Whether by accident or design, his upcoming schedule signals a return to the period piece in a major way, and Gladiator 2 will cap it all off.