Gladiator is a stone-cold classic movie. And it seems the long-rumored Ridley Scott sequel is official, as a release date has been set for next year with Oscar nominee Paul Mescal in the running to star.
According to Deadline, Gladiator 2 is scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 22, 2024. Mescal, who's up for an Academy Award for best actor for his role in Aftersun, is in talks to reportedly take over from Russell Crowe in the lead role. He'll play a grown-up Lucius -- the kid seen in the first movie who was the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's evil Roman emperor.
The original Gladiator came out in 2000, did huge business at the box office and on DVD, and won five Oscars including best picture. Scott has been talking about a sequel pretty much since the original came out, but this seems to be official confirmation it's actually happening. It's possibly spurred by the huge success of Top Gun: Maverick 36 years after the original, prompting Paramount to search its back catalog for another belated sequel.
Sadly, the sequel will have nothing to do with a now-legendary script written by musician Nick Cave. Cave wrote a draft for a sequel in which Crowe's character was resurrected as an immortal warrior, forced to battle his way from purgatory back to the real world to fight again, from Roman times to the Crusades to World War II, Vietnam and the modern-day Pentagon. Which sounds bonkers and I want to see it.