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Russell Crowe Debunks Rumor, Reveals Plot Details


Not too much is known about the upcoming sequel to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, but according to star Russell Crowe in a recent interview, it won’t feature his character Maximus whatsoever.

During an appearance on the Australian radio show Fitzy and Wippa (via Actionewz), Crowe was asked if he plans on being part of the sequel. Crowe quickly said that he wasn’t, but did reveal some of what fans could expect from the story.

“Not at all,” Crowe said. “So, I know roughly how [Scott]’s shaping the story. But yeah, you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator? Which leads to the ‘My name is’ speech. So that young kid has grown up, and he’s now the Emperor … I don’t know what else happens at that point, but that’s the idea.”

While some might want to see Crowe return, it seems almost impossible due to the fact that his character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, dies at the end of the film. Instead, leading Gladiator 2 will be Paul Mescal, according to a report from Deadline. The 26-year-old Irish actor is best known for his roles in Aftersun and Normal People, the latter of which earned him an Emmy nomination. Rather than taking place before the first film and keeping Maximus in the spotlight, Mescal will be playing Lucius, the son of Connie Nelson’s Lucilla.

Scott will once again direct Gladiator 2, which doesn’t have an official title yet. It’s expected to be the director’s next project as he just finished up Napoleon starring Joaquin Phoenix (who also starred in the original Gladiator). While a sequel has been hinted at for well over a decade, the current iteration started becoming a reality in 2018 after Paramount came on to help develop the project.

The script for the movie was written by David Scarpa. Producing the Gladiator sequel will be Scott and Scott Free president Michael Pruss, alongside Red Wagon Entertainment’s Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher. Universal also has the right to partner on the project once it is packaged as they co-produced the original along with DreamWorks. Other crew returning from the original movie are costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max.

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