A Gladiator sequel is in the works from Ridley Scott

The director is returning to the Roman Empire some 18 years after his original epic - but will Maximus be brought back from the dead?

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Ridley Scott is returning to familiar territory with a sequel to his five-time Oscar-winner, Gladiator.

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The original movie, released in 2000, starred Russell Crowe as Roman general-turned-gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius and Joaquin Phoenix as the power-hungry Commodus.

Penned by Hunger Games writer Peter Craig, the sequel is expected to follow Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla and the nephew of Commodus, who Maximus saved from his uncle in the first film.

Lucius was played by a 12-year-old Spencer Treat Clark at the time. It is currently unknown who will play him in the sequel.

Having died at the end of Gladiator, Maximus is unlikely to return. However Crowe did previously approach singer Nick Cave to pen a script for a sequel that would have brought Maximus back from the dead through the body of a slain Christian martyr.

The script was eventually shelved, but last year Scott said he had a plans for Maximus to return.

“I know how to bring him back,” Scott told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

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Apart from the Gladiator sequel, Scott is busy directing his first TV series, Raised by Wolves, a sci-fi tale of androids raising human children. He is also working on a drama about photojournalist Lyndsey Addario, played by Scarlett Johansson.