‘I’m not involved’: Russell Crowe says he won’t appear in Gladiator 2 flashback scene

‘You won’t see me, but I’ll be there,’ actor said

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 31 March 2023 11:46 BST
Gladiator trailer

Russell Crowe has addressed the rumours he will be in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel.

The new film, focusing on Lucius, the son of Maximus’s lover Lucilla (played by Connie Nielsen in the 2000 original), is set to be released in 2024.

Movie fans have been wondering whether Crowe, who played Maximus, will appear in some way in the film. As he dies in the original, it has been theorised that he could show up in a flashback.

“I think when they’re shooting in the colosseum and stuff, I’ll be lying like 6ft underground,” Crowe quipped via video call on this Saturday’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show (1 April), adding: “You won’t see me, but I’ll be there beneath the ground.”

Crowe then conclusively said he is “not involved” in the film – and that he has barely even spoken to Scott about the project despite recently meeting up with him.

“I’ve had a couple of dinners with Ridley since he embarked on this – we haven’t really talked about what he’s doing. But no, I’m not involved. Maximus has departed the world.”

Oscar-nominated Aftersun actor Paul Mescal will play the lead role in the new film. Barry Keoghan is also being eyed for a part in the sequel, according to reports.

In September 2021, Scott had given an update on the film’s progress. At that time, he said the film was being written and would be “ready to go” once he was done with his forthcoming Napoleon film.

Following its initial release, Gladiator was a critical and commercial hit. The box office smash earned $460m (£342.8m) globally and won five Oscars.

Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’
Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’ (Jaap Buitendijk/Dreamworks/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Crowe’s new film, The Pope’s Exorcist, is released in cinemas on 7 April.

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday (1 April) at 9.40pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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