EntertainmentGladiator 2 gears up for risky $310M release, Russell Crowe uneasy

Gladiator 2 gears up for risky $310M release, Russell Crowe uneasy

Russell Crowe in the movie "Gladiator"
Russell Crowe in the movie "Gladiator"
Images source: © Press materials

8:29 AM EDT, June 12, 2024

One of the most expensive productions in recent years—"Gladiator 2"—will hit theaters in mid-November. Hollywood studios are believed to be forced to reduce their film budgets significantly if Ridley Scott's film fails. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe revealed in a recent interview that he "feels slightly uncomfortable" being just a viewer of the historical blockbuster.

According to the latest information from various sources, the production cost of the second installment of "Gladiator" reached $250-310 million. "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Fast & Furious 10" consumed more money, but these were so-called box office hits. Meanwhile, market analysts consider "Gladiator 2" a hazardous and unpredictable project. It could become a huge hit but also face a spectacular box office failure, which is easy to imagine with such high costs. Success would entail earnings of around $800 million for a film with such a large budget.

It's worth remembering that few believed in the success of the first "Gladiator" (a sandal film at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries?). Additionally, when filming began, the script was not yet completed, actor Oliver Reed died of a heart attack during production, the film's budget was exceeded, and the filmmakers had to shorten the shooting period, which forced them to work almost around the clock.

Russell Crowe was thoroughly fed up with "Gladiator" at that time. He didn't change his mind even after winning an Oscar for his role as Maximus. It was only years later that he appreciated working on Ridley Scott's film.

In the latest interview, the star admitted that he is not very comfortable with just being a viewer of the second part of "Gladiator." "I’m slightly uncomfortable with the fact they’re making another one — because, of course, I’m dead, and I have no say in what gets done. But a couple of the things I’ve heard I’m like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not in the moral journey of that particular character’. But I can’t say anything, it’s not my place, I’m six foot under. So we’ll see what that is like." Russell Crowe said, referring to the fact that his character died in the first part of "Gladiator."

The plot of "Gladiator 2" will take place 20 years after the events depicted in the 2000 production. We won't see Maximus in it, but Connie Nielsen (as Marcus Aurelius's daughter, Lucilla) and Derek Jacobi (Tiberius Gracchus) will appear again.

The main character of the movie is Lucius, who comes of age and takes on the role of emperor. Paul Mescal plays him. The Irish actor was photographed during reshoots in a village in Sussex County, UK. The second part of "Gladiator" will also feature Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, and Joseph Quinn.

Paul Mescal as Emperor Lucius
Paul Mescal as Emperor Lucius© Press materials
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