Director Ridley Scott reveals an original plan for Gladiator 2, where the iconic character Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe, was set to return. Scott outlined a daring plan that departed significantly from the conventional sequel formula.
Gladiator 2 is set to star the Oscar-nominated Paul Mescal as an older Lucius. However, in an earlier iteration of the script penned by Nick Cave, there was a different storyline that would have resurrected Maximus, paving the way for Crowe’s return to reprise his role as the iconic character.
During an interview on ReelBlend Podcast, Scott detailed, “Nick Cave wrote the script, but I had the idea. I knew how to bring him back through a portal, back to the real world. I’m not going tell you what it is, because somebody will steal it… I talked to Nick every other day for about a month as he was writing it. And so I said, ‘We can bring him back this way.’ And what I want to do is start the film in Styx, on the edge of the ocean, and you see him, this warrior, wandering in armor. Then, it’s Maximus wandering, looking for where he’s going to go next. That’s Scene One.”
In alternate renditions of the script, Maximus was depicted awakening in Elysium, the Roman counterpart to Purgatory. Faced with the challenge of battling his way out of this infernal realm, Maximus encounters and confronts Hephaestus, ultimately overcoming the obstacles before making his triumphant return to Rome.
The movie is scheduled to release on November 22, 2024.