Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the hugely popular movie. Gladiator (2000).
Russell Crowe won his Oscar for Gladiator, a movie made back when it wasn’t uncommon to kill off your main character and never make prequels to bring them back. Today is a very different time. The public (or at least Hollywood executives) love bringing back the old IP. And so the Best Picture of the Year 2000 winner gets a long-threatened and belated sequel, following the nephew of Joquin Phoenix’s slain villain, Commodus. As far as we know, Crowe isn’t in it, because his character is dead. Still, enough people have inevitably asked him about the movie he’s now showing publicly.
“They should be paying me for the amount of questions I get asked about the fucking movie I’m not even in,” Crowe said at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. “I don’t know anything about the cast, I don’t know anything about the plot.”
He also pointed out that, again, Maximus, the Roman general-turned-slave-turned-warrior, ate him. He said, “In this world, I am dead, six feet under. And that’s it.”
Of course, there’s always the possibility of Crowe appearing in a secret cameo and it’s all being carefully coordinated. Who knows these days!
Despite his anger, Crowe didn’t give a damn about the sequel, saying “if Ridley decided to do a second part…he’ll have very good reasons.” He added, “I couldn’t think of this film as anything less than absolutely spectacular.”
Crowe admitted he felt a “certain tinge of jealousy”, because the film reminded him of “my youth”. The sequel stars young actor Paul Mescal as Lucius, said his nephew, who was originally played by Spencer Treat Clark. There’s also Denzel Washington in a role described as “tough guy”.
For Crow, Gladiator was the start of a long partnership with Ridley Scott. Then the pair teamed up for the rom-com drama Happy New Year, American Gangster, Body of Liesand Ridley’s version of Robin Hood.
We will have to wait until November 22, 2024 to see Gladiator 2.