Director Ridley Scott has started developing a sequel to his Oscar-winning 2000 film Gladiator at Paramount, per Deadline. Scott wants to direct the sequel, to be scripted by Peter Craig, who has credits on The Town, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and the forthcoming Top Gun: Maverick.
Russell Crowe will not be returning in his Oscar-winning role as Maximus, who met his demise at the end of the 2000 original. Instead, the sequel will continue the story of Lucius, the young son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), whom Maximus saved, along with his mother, from Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the ambitious son of Marcus Aurelius, who murdered his father to seize the throne.
Scott previously expressed interest in working on a Gladiator sequel during the Alien: Covenant press tour in March 2017, and now the project is moving forward at Paramount, which replaces original studio DreamWorks. DreamWorks is out, although Universal, which distributed the original, has the option to co-finance.
Scott Free will produce with Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald of Parkes + MacDonald.
Scott is currently directing the TNT series Raised by Wolves, his television debut, and is also eyeing several feature projects, including a film about the formative years of the wizard Merlin and another about photojournalist Lynsey Addario starring Scarlett Johansson. It’s unclear which of these projects will happen first, although it’s likely that it will be the Merlin film, which Chris Weitz is rewriting, with Scott and Gil Netter producing.