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Russell Crowe feels ‘slightly uncomfortable’ with upcoming ‘Gladiator’ sequel

"A couple of things that I've heard, I'm like, 'No, no, no. That's not in the moral journey of that particular character,'" he says

By Kory Grow

Russell Crowe in Gladiator 2 (Picture: Dreamworks/Everett Collection)

With the way that Gladiator ended (and typing “spoiler alert” will already spoil the rest of this article for you), Russell Crowe feels ambivalent that director Ridley Scott is filming a sequel. “I’m slightly uncomfortable, the fact that they’re making another one, you know?” he said in a new interview with Kyle Meredith, via Variety. And once again, understand that the next sentence will spoil Gladiator for you if you’ve never seen it and are thinking of watching it. “Because, of course, I’m dead, and I have no say in what gets done.”

“A couple of things that I’ve heard, I’m like, ‘No, no, no. That’s not in the moral journey of that particular character,’” he continued. “But you know, I can’t say anything. That’s not my place. I’m six feet under. So we’ll see what that is like.”

Crowe also said that the advent of a sequel to Gladiator, the 2000 film that won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe, has prompted introspection on his part. “I reflect back on the age I was when I made that film and all the things that came after it and the doors that particular movie opened for me,” he said. “So there’s definitely a tinge — and this is just being purely honest — a tinge of melancholy, a tinge of jealousy. Because I remember when I had tendons.”

Gladiator II, which is not using Nick Cave’s lost script, will star Paul Mescal (Normal People) as Lucius Verus, former Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ grandson. “I found Normal People, and I thought, ‘This is interesting,’” Scott explained of the casting in an interview with Rolling Stone last year. “Both the girl and him were very real. And already I was thinking, ‘Down the road in a year, he might be the lead to take over where Russell Crowe left off.’ I asked Paul Mescal, and he said, ‘Yes, absolutely.’”

At the time, Scott said the movie was almost ready to go from a production standpoint. “I just looked at the cutting copy of it,” he said. “I was shooting it for nine weeks and heard about the strike and had to stop. It’s an hour and forty-five minutes after nine weeks, and I’ve just looked at the final cut. There will be visual effects. I’ve got a rhinoceros charging around in an arena, trying to kill people. That all starts getting polished together.”

From Rolling Stone.