Ridley Scott has two major film releases this year — The Last Duel and House of Gucci — but it seems like he’s already looking ahead to his next ambitious feature. In an interview with Empire, Scott confirmed that he will be working on his highly anticipated sequel to Gladiator after he films Kitbag, his Joaquin Phoenix led Napoleon Bonapart historical picture.
It sounds like he won’t be wasting any time returning to 180 A.D. once he has finished with the ruthless French emperor, telling Empire, “I’m already having [the next] Gladiator written now. So when I’ve done Napoleon, Gladiator will be ready to go.” Rumors suggest that Kitbag might release sometime in 2023, which means the Gladiator sequel will most likely not arrive until 2024 and beyond.
Gladiator 2 has been in the works for a while now. Deadline first reported that Scott was moving forward with the project in 2018. Fans of the critically acclaimed Gladiator will know that Russell Crowe‘s Maximus will not be part of the story, given his final act demise, but it will reportedly follow the story of Lucius — the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). In the film, Lucius looked up to Maximus, after Maximus saved him and his mother.
Since the initial announcement, Scott has been busy with The Last Duel and House of Gucci, as well as executive producing a number of television shows including The Passage, A Christmas Carol, and Raised by Wolves. Kitbag was picked up by Apple TV+ earlier this year, with Apple agreeing to both finance and help produce Scott‘s passion project. The film is set to begin production in early 2022.