Ridley Scott is back in the arena.
The sequel to “Gladiator” will resume shooting in Malta on Dec. 4, sources tell Variety. Shooting on the historical epic was delayed when the actors went on strike in July. But the Nov. 8 announcement that SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, had reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract has enabled studios to move forward on several productions. 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.
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The “Gladiator” sequel stars Paul Mescal, the Oscar-nominated “Aftersun” leading man, as well as Denzel Washington and “The Last of Us” actor Pedro Pascal. Connie Nielsen and Derek Jacobi, who appeared in the 2000 original, reprise their roles. Russell Crowe, who headlined the first “Gladiator,” isn’t in this one, because, well, his character dies in that movie. The first film was a massive hit and won an Oscar for best picture.
Scott’s latest movie, “Napoleon,” debuted in theaters last week. In an interview with the New Yorker tied to that movie’s release, Scott said he’s spent the strike editing 90 minutes of footage for “Gladiator 2.” It apparently includes “… a scene in which the hero fights a pack of baboons.” Scott said he got the idea for the sequence after watching a video of baboons attacking tourists in South Africa. “Baboons are carnivores,” Scott told the magazine. “Can you hang from that roof for two hours by your left leg? No! A baboon can.”
Paramount Pictures is distributing the sequel to “Gladiator” globally. The film will open on Nov. 22, 2024.
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