Universal Pictures

After years of on-again, off-again development, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 swords-and-sandals epic “Gladiator” looks to be finally on the way.

Last year came word from Scott himself who confirmed that a script was already completed at that time and they have a “good footprint, a good, logical place to go” that’s not “just another Gladiator type movie”. At the time Scott said he hopes to direct the sequel.

Now, Puck News indicates Scott is seeking to cast lead actors for the project, suggesting development is proceeding well and confirming he is taking the reins once he’s finished up his Joaquin Phoenix-led “Napoleon” project.

Connie Nielsen and Djimon Hounsou, who played Lucilla and Juba respectively, are also rumored to be returning. The original film unfolded in Ancient Rome and was a massive hit at the box-office, grossing $457 million worldwide at the time.

How the follow-up will work isn’t clear. With Russell Crowe’s Maximus dying in the film and events here set to unfold years later, it’s likely we’ll follow the more grown up version of Spencer Treat Clark’s Spencer Lucius Verus.

Over a decade ago, musician Nick Cave was commissioned to write a new draft of the script which would see Maximus in purgatory who is then resurrected as an immortal eternal warrior by the Roman gods. Cursed to live forever, he ends up fighting amongst the Crusades, WWII, the Vietnam War and is currently working at The Pentagon. That version was scrapped long ago.

No word as to when the new “Gladiator” will hit cinemas, though if shooting gets underway soon then it could make a 2024 release.

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