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SXSW

Ridley Scott on Gladiator sequel: 'I know how to bring him back'

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Everett Collection

Could a Gladiator sequel finally see the light of day?

At the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, EW asked director Ridley Scott about the long-rumored development of a potential follow-up to his 2000 smash hit starring Russell Crowe. Given that Crowe’s character, Maximus, dies in the film, it’s always been a creatively challenging prospect — to say the least — to return to Scott’s original vision of the Roman Empire. But Scott suggested that not only is he game for another movie, but he also has come up with a way of doing it with Crowe should the actor want to sign on for a sequel.

“I know how to bring him back,” Scott said at the Nat Geo Further Base Camp on Friday. “I was having this talk with the studio — ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”

Crowe reportedly commissioned rocker Nick Cave in 2009 to write a Gladiator sequel script which had Maximus traversing through the afterlife, but it’s unclear if Scott’s idea has any connection to this.

Scott was at the festival promoting the upcoming Alien: Covenant, which opens May 19. A special screening of Scott’s 1979 Alien will take place in Austin on Friday night.

Gladiator won five Oscars at the 2001 ceremony, including best actor for Crowe and best picture. Scott was nominated for best director but lost to Steven Soderbergh (for Traffic). At the global box office, Gladiator earned north of $457 million.