Listen to our Gladiator episode on:
An action classic with a surprising amount of screen time dedicated to incest and daddy issues, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator remains the gold standard for modern sword & sandal epics. Many imitations followed in its wake, some of which made money (300, Troy), many more of which lost a fortune (Gods of Egypt, Ben Hur), but none came close to having the same impact.
Like Titanic, pitching a sequel to Gladiator involves working around the dead hero problem. Russell Crowe’s Maximus Meridius ends the original film unequivocally deceased, and nobody who survives the film – basically just Connie Nielsen and Djimon Hounsou – is remotely interesting enough to justify a spin-off.
Australian Singer-songwriter Nick Cave attempted to address this problem by having Maximus return from the afterlife on a mission from the Roman Gods in his now-infamous unfilmed script for a Gladiator sequel, which installed Lucilla’s irritating son Lucius as the new villain (plausible) and ended with Maximus travelling through time to lead the good fight in various famous battles through history (less plausible).
The ever-popular combination of reincarnation and time travel sets a pretty high bar for terrible sequel ideas, but we’re not afraid of a challenge here at Beyond The Box Set. You can listen to our ideas in all their questionable glory in this week’s podcast, but here’s a brief summary of what we came up with…
John’s Pitch | Gladiator! The Musical
Harry’s Pitch | Gladiator: War Zone
You can listen to our Gladiator episode on iTunes, Stitcher, acast, Overcast, Pocket Casts or Player FM. If you have a better idea for reviving this classic movie, or if you just want to scream abuse at us for desecrating a classic, get in touch via Twitter or Facebook, or spew your word vomit in the comments section below. We might even give you a shout-out on a future episode.