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Russell Crowe Opens Up About Not Being Asked To Return In Gladiator 2

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 3/29/2023 Adam Bentz
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Russell Crowe opens up about not being asked to return in Gladiator 2. The Australian actor led the 2000 Best Picture-winning historical epic as Maximus Decimus Meridius and won an Academy Award for his performance as the Roman general turned gladiator. After many years in development, a sequel with Ridley Scott returning as director finally started making progress earlier this year with Normal People and Aftersun breakout Paul Mescal cast in the lead role as an adult Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen's Lucilla. However, considering Gladiator's ending and the actor's past comments, Crowe won't be returning in the sequel.

During a recent interview with The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio One promoting The Pope's Exorcist, Crowe opened up further about his involvement in Gladiator 2. The original Gladiator star reaffirmed he is not returning in the sequel and also admitted to being slightly jealous of Mescal, who will get to have the experience he once had making an epic period drama. Read what Crowe said below:

I'm sure at some point in time they'll want to ask me about something, but they haven't brought anything up in a while. It’s an extension of the narrative, but it is long beyond Maximus’ passing, so it doesn’t really involve me at all. I hear that young fella Paul is a good dude and I wish him the best of luck with it. I think where they're picking the story up from, a young Lucius, stepping into the role of emperor. I think that's a very smart idea within the world of the film that we created.

I don't want to dwell on it too much because it does take me back to a period of time when obviously I was significantly younger. And you know, the rose-colored glasses of that experience now are perfectly crystallized. I look back on it and I loved every minute of it, and that wasn’t actually the case at the time. I do like being on a period movie set. Stepping into those sorts of costumes and those sorts of situations and stuff, it has great appeal to me. There's a slight edge of jealousy that people get to have that experience that I had once.

Why Russell Crowe Isn't Returning In Gladiator 2

After exacting his revenge against Commodus in a duel, Maximus succumbs to his wounds and dies during the Gladiator ending. Though there was once a different version of Gladiator 2 in development that saw Maximus resurrected by the Roman gods and fighting throughout different periods of history, that idea has since been scrapped and Scott's sequel is heading in a decidedly different direction. As Crowe mentions, Gladiator 2 picks up long after Maximus’ death (roughly 30 years) and finds Lucius stepping into the role of the emperor.

Related: A Russell Crowe Gladiator 2 Cameo Is A TERRIBLE Idea

It is possible Crowe returns as Maximus in Gladiator 2 via a flashback or dream sequence, especially if he is Lucius' father as some have speculated. However, Crowe has given no indication that will happen. Without the original star returning, Gladiator 2 is in the incredibly capable hands of Mescal, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Aftersun and has also received Crowe's approval. The sequel has also started fleshing out its supporting cast with other Academy Award-caliber talents like The Banshees of Inisherin's Barry Keoghan and the great Denzel Washington.

Source: The Ryan Tubridy Show


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