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Is a Gladiator Sequel a Good Idea?



Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is one of the greatest historical pictures of all time, and it earned a vast array of accolades at the time of its release. It is still loved to this day, and its memory lives on through its influence on the wider entertainment industry.

Some would say it’s better to leave films like this alone so as not to risk jeopardising their legacy. However, it appears that Gladiator 2 is going to happen, with a script in place and Scott keen on returning to the director’s chair for it.

Gladiator 2 is Happening

It has been 22 years since the release of Gladiator, and for years fans of the movie have been petitioning for a sequel. Despite it having a definitive ending, many felt that there were still other plot threads that could be explored. In November 2021, Scott revealed that a screenplay from Peter Craig was complete, and it’s expected that work on the film will begin shortly after the yet-to-be-announced release of Scott’s Napoleon for Apple TV.

There are rumours that Russell Crowe will be co-producing the film and that he could make a return as the legendary Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius. However, his screen time could be in flashbacks, with the main story focusing on other minor characters from the original.

Should be a Commercial Success

Regardless of how well-made the sequel is, it is likely to be a hit at the box office. It has many factors working in its favour, with the notoriety of the original obviously being a huge help. Then, there’s the star power of Scott and Crowe combined, two names that are proven to bring in enormous crowds.

The popularity of Roman themes in entertainment is also a major boost to the potential success of Gladiator 2. This era has always been a source of fascination, but its prevalence in popular culture grew after the release of Gladiator in 2000. This is seen most visibly in the gaming industry, where there are countless Roman-themed games to choose from.

The online slot market, for example, is packed full of games that draw inspiration from the period. These include titles like Gladiator Legends, which has an RTP of 96.46 per cent. This stands for return to player, and it’s a theoretical amount that people should get back based on what they put into the game. There are other Roman titles to choose from like Centurion Maximus Winnus, which are also clearly influenced by Gladiator.

Hard to Top the Original

Although it will probably perform well at the box office, it is risky releasing a sequel to a film that has gone down in history as a classic. There is a chance that a subpar offering could end up tainting the original and lessening its appeal to viewers in the future.

When it comes to creating a well-regarded sequel, it’s a rarity in the movie industry that it will outdo the offering that came before it. Only the odd picture, such as The Godfather Part II, has ever ended up receiving higher acclaim than its predecessor.

Whether Gladiator 2 is a good idea or not depends on perspective. From the point of view of the production company behind it, it makes sense as it’s likely to be a commercial hit. However, it could risk tainting the legacy of the original if it doesn’t live up to the same high standards.

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