AceShowbiz - The "Gladiator" sequel is expected to resume shooting in Malta on December 4. Shooting on the follow-up to Ridley Scott's historical epic was paused during the actors strike that paralysed Hollywood, but the announcement on 8 November that their SAG-AFTRA union had reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract has enabled studios to move forward on several productions.
The filming schedule for "Gladiator 2" is back on track, sources told Variety, with Paramount Pictures due to distribute the sequel globally after an opening date of November 22, 2024.
The actors strike lasted for 118 days and was resolved after studios gave the union first-ever protections for the use of artificial intelligence in film and television shows, along with a historic pay increase.
Paul Mescal, 27, will take the lead in "Gladiator 2", which will also star Denzel Washington, 68, and 48-year-old Pedro Pascal. Connie Nielsen, 58, and Derek Jacobi, 85, who appeared in the 2000 original, reprise their roles while Russell Crowe, 59, who was the leading man in the first "Gladiator" won't reappear as his character died at the end.
Director Ridley Scott, 86, told The New Yorker he had spent the actors' strike editing 90 minutes of footage for "Gladiator 2", which apparently includes "a scene in which the hero fights a pack of baboons" according to the filmmaker.
Ridley added he got the idea for the sequence after watching a video of baboons attacking tourists in South Africa, adding, "Baboons are carnivores. Can you hang from that roof for two hours by your left leg? No! A baboon can."
Russell Crowe has joked he will only star in the "Gladiator" sequel as a corpse lying "six feet under" the Colosseum. The 58-year-old actor won an Oscar for playing vengeful Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley's 2000 epic and has said he won't be starring in the long-awaited follow-up, set 20 years after the first film.
He told "The Jonathan Ross Show", "I think when they're shooting in the Colosseum and stuff, I'll be lying like six feet underground… you won't see me, but I'll be there beneath the ground… ."