Russell Crowe on Why He’s ‘Slightly Uncomfortable’ With Gladiator 2

24 years ago, Russell Crowe starred as Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott‘s Gladiator. The film was a smash hit, with Crowe winning the Oscar for Best Actor. Later this year, a new warrior will rise from the sands in Gladiator 2. With Scott returning to direct, will Crowe be returning for the sequel?

Is Russell Crowe in Gladiator 2?

Crowe is not reprising his role of Maximus in Gladiator 2. How does Crowe feel about a sequel to one of his most famous films? Right now, the veteran actor has mixed feelings.

“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,” Crowe said. “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.”

When reflecting on how Gladiator opened new doors for him in Hollywood, Crowe told the Kyle Meredith With… podcast. “This is just me being purely honest: there’s definitely a tinge of melancholy, a tinge of jealousy.” 

With Crowe out, the new protagonist of Gladiator 2 will be Paul Mescal. Joining Mescal in the ensemble are Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and Fred Hechinger. Two notable names reprising their roles from Gladiator for the sequel are Connie Nielsen as Lucilla and Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus.

Specific plot details are still under wraps. However, Mescal will star as the titular Gladiator in the film.

Scott will direct Gladiator II on a script by David Scarpa. The sequel arrives in theaters on November 22, 2024.

Film

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