No, a Gladiator sequel is not heresy. It might even make a good film.
Gladiator 2 : Ridley Scott just promised it. After Kitbag, his film on Napoleon and Josephine, the director will return to Rome and shoot a sequel to Gladiator. Sir Ridley looks very upbeat, and the audience… uh, significantly less, judging from the reactions on social media. Okay, this is never the place for a calm and argued discussion, but we read spontaneous things like “Completely stupid idea”, “fuck you Ridley” (sic), gifs of shouting Michael Scott “No! God! Please! No!”… In short, in summary, it is not very well received, no. Calm down: not only is this not heresy or blasphemy, it is quite a good idea. Already, Ridley Scott proves it with his fabulous The Last Duel : he is, soon to be 84 years old, in full possession of his means. He quickly turns ambitious big-budget films, directing his loyal collaborators as Napoleon commanded his marshals. The op director Dariusz Wolski, the costume designer Janty Yates, the production designer Arthur Max capable of growing the Jerusalem of the Crusades or the orientalist ancient Egypt in the studios of Pinewood… Scott, a great classic filmmaker, sees each of his films as battles to deliver according to his well-regulated and orderly art of war, by putting the maximum of means and energy in order to deliver the best possible result. After The Last Duel, Scott followed up with House of Gucci, packed at lightning speed, and the two films are released a month apart.
“I started writing Gladiator 2”: Ridley Scott will shoot the sequel after his film on Napoleon
Then this future Gladiator 2 will not be a direct sequel repeating the recipe from the first film. Admittedly, almost nothing is known about the script for the film, which could be signed Peter Craig (The Town, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Top Gun: Maverick and The batman of Matt Reeves), otherwise he would have to follow Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who has become an adult. We should escape a prequel. Even though Roman history is also abused in Gladiator 2 that in Gladiator, it does not stop after Commodus, and is full of potentially exciting stuff on screen: plots, usurpations, betrayals, massacres and battles, enough to fill many scenarios. After Commodus, it’s a mess and four emperors clash to take the head of the Empire (sorry Maximus, no new Republic). The victor, Septimius Severus, takes power with the help of a legion and will reign 17 years, his successor Caracalla – who reigns in the potential period of Gladiator 2– was a bellicose tyrant ordering to massacre the population of Alexandria before dying assassinated … Imagine, the Nile turned red by the blood spilled by the innocent slaughtered (cousin and perverse vision of the plagues of Egypt in Egypt).Exodus)? Here is material for a scenario, and material to make a radical, violent and spectacular peplum. In line with Last duel.
No need to believe that Gladiator 2 may look like Prometheus Where Alien: Covenant. No, Scott doesn’t need to do it all over again Gladiator. Okay, if there hadn’t been Gladiator, obviously that Ridley Scott’s career would have taken a whole different direction, but the film came at a pivotal moment for the director who had chained the failures of Groundswell, GI Jane and his project I’m a legend with Schwarzenegger. In his collection of short stories Roma Aeterna, science fiction author Robert Silverberg imagines an Earth where the Roman Empire does not collapse and continues to this day. The starting point of his uchrony: the death of Jesus, executed prematurely by the Romans, preventing the birth of Christianity, and, one thing leading to another, preserving the Empire from the fall.
Precisely: when we speak of a sequence of Gladiator, we would not tend to imagine a nanar in DTV way The Scorpion King 2 ? think she will use the rejected Nick Cave script, where Maximus in the Realm of the Dead is commissioned by the ancient and dying gods to go back in time and kill Jesus to prevent the advent of Christianity? Christ killer (sic) was quickly put in the basket. No chance that the new Gladiator bring back Maximus in Kratos version of God of war, with the current look of Russell Crowe, closer to a Christmas Kiwi daddy than to Maximus Decimus Meridius, “commander-in-chief of the armies of the north, general of the legions Felix, faithful servant of the true emperor Marc Aurèle, father of an assassinated son, husband of an assassinated woman …” The first Gladiator is there, untouchable and frozen in the legend – the long version being, by Scott’s own admission, a poorer film, designed expressly to sell new DVDs (in an additional scene, Maximus meets a Christian preacher, of elsewhere. Draw whatever conclusions you want).
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The Ridley’s Gladiator 2 will not be the same as when he was given the Oscar for Best Director twenty years ago. What prevents him from revisiting the Roman peplum again? Especially since the time for firefighter heroism, the long martial legionary tirades signed John Logan is no longer for him. No more warlike idealism. After Gladiator, Scott sought to endow his war and sword heroes with obvious political radicalism: Balian in Kingdom of Heaven, Robin the impostor in Robin Hood, Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings. “The nature of the hero is at the heart of any culture”, as the Jewish diamond dealer (Bruno Ganz) asserts in a demented scene from Cartel (director’s cut), and Scott’s hero is often a brutal killer fighting in a society that breeds, accepts and nurtures him. No, definitely the prospect of seeing the Ridley Scott of the 2020s re-commissioning his film army in the Roman Empire is a most exciting sight: in this life, or the next.