Gladiator 2 Set to Resume Filming Next Week

Fresh off the theatrical release of Napoleon, filmmaker Ridley Scott is set to return to production on his planned sequel to Gladiator next week. Barry Keoghan will star in the sequel opposite Paul Mescal, best known for his role in Normal People, who was tapped to head up the sequel back in February, with Scott set to return to direct from a script by David Scarpa. It has been about five years since serious reports about a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator started to circulate, with the script being finished last spring. Variety reports that the movie, which is set for a November 22, 2024 release, will resume production in Malta in less than a week.

The film started production earlier this year, but stopped when the WGA and SAG-AFTRA went on strike. Before it wound production down, set photos emerged featuring a giant, practical Coliseum that will appear onscreen rather than using a CGI backdrop for the setting.

“First of all, I love doing period films. I love the research. I love to create sort of smells of the period,” Scott said back in 2021.”I think what we did with the first Gladiator…I don’t like being critical of other things that have happened before, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Hollywood Roman epics, honestly. They felt artificial and so, when I was asked to consider a script, the script was not very good. But the person who gave it to me said, I want to show you one thing, and he picked up an illustration, this is true, it’s called For Those About to Die by G?r?me. He holds it up. It’s a picture of this big painting of the Coliseum, and in the corner there is this guy, about to tuna fork this poor bastard. He’s got this thing in his neck, and he’s looking up for permission to kill. I went, ‘Bloody hell, that’s never been done properly before. Never.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ He said you will? I said yes. Did you want to read the script? I said no, and we went off and hit the ground running around the table, and evolved the new material.”

Koeghan will play Emperor Geta, which was was the name of an actual Roman emperor, but like the first film, the sequel is not based on a true story. Russell Crowe, who headlined the original, will not come back, since his character died at the end of the film. Mescal will be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen). Now a grown man, Lucius has grown up with admiration for Maximus (Crowe’s character), who saved him and his mother. Maximus will not return for the film, since he died at the end of Gladiator — but not before killing Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the son of Roman leader Marcus Aurelius and served as the principal antagonist of the first film.

Scott is set to produce the film, along with Scott Free President Michael Pruss, and Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher from Red Wagon Entertainment. Also returning from the original film are Janty Yates (Costume Designer) and Arthur Max (Production Designer).