Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is arguably one of the most iconic films to have ever been created. It was a huge box office hit, as it had managed to record revenues of $503.2 million when it was released in 2000 and received a clutch of awards ranging from Oscars to Golden Globes and BAFTAs.
Russell Crowe was the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, while Joaquin Phoenix featured as Commodus, who betrays the general. It was a film that captured the imagination of everybody who watched it, which is why it was so successful and can still be found being watched by so many today.
There has been talk of a second installment of this movie, with Scott continuing to push forward with a script and has allegedly completed one. A tentative release date of November 2024, has been slated for the movie.
Discussions about who could feature have continued and dragged on for a while, although it is believed a number of big names are set to be cast. Recent Oscar winner Paul Mascal was in talks to portray Lucius Verus as the lead character, with the story set to follow him being emperor, with Crowe not being involved (for obvious reasons). In March 2023, it was revealed that Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan were cast, while Joseph Quinn joined a month later. Connie Nielsen will be returning from the original and playing the role of Lucilla, Lucius’ mother.
However, while there will be a lot of excitement about the potential that it may bring, could it have an impact on the legacy of the Gladiator film and possibly tarnish it?
Given the success that was had with the original, there is undoubtedly a lot of pressure riding on the possible release of Gladiator 2. If it does not do the story justice, it could potentially have a damaging impact on the original, despite the fact it is widely considered to be a classic and one of the best Hollywood has ever produced.
As mentioned, the first movie was a commercial success and went on to have a huge impact on popular culture, too. There were a number of instances in which it became a source of inspiration across a variety of entertainment mediums. Spin-offs across TV and film were made, while game studios also got involved with using the theme for many of their titles. As a result, it led to the appearance of slots such as Gladiator Legends or Inferno Gladiator which each feature a spins bonus that can be utilized to enhance the overall experience.
There will be a lot of expectation regarding the upcoming release once it is created, especially as it has been over two decades in the work, with the earliest talks around a sequel or a prequel being held in 2001.
Although the levels of hype will be through the roof, there will be some apprehension about whether we will get another instant classic when Scott decides it is ready to be shown on the big screen.
It will be easy to anticipate that there will be huge crowds for the film at the box office, but there will be many that will not be too forgiving if certain things do not live up to standards. Many critics, though, believe it will be extremely difficult to top and be better than the first one.
There is not a great track record when it comes down to sequels outperforming the originals. Only a few movies have ever been able to go on and be better than the first story that was told, with many others having lost viewers and interest as they felt the hype was unable to be lived up to.
It makes a lot of sense for Ridley Scott to make the film, as it is undoubtedly going to be a cash cow for him and pocket him millions more. That is something that is hardly going to be up for debate, however, whether its legacy remains intact is an argument that only time appears will be able to answer. Here is to November 2024, hopefully!