Ridley Scott says he has over 90-minutes of unedited footage for 'Gladiator 2'

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 15 (IANS): After releasing his latest historical-epic film 'Napoleon', director Ridley Scott is in no mood to stop as the 85-year-old is proceeding with full force for completing 'Gladiator 2'. Revealing additional details for the sequel to his Oscar-winning film, Scott said that he has over 90 minutes of fully-unedited footage, with March 2024 being a likely release date.

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes had delayed a bunch of projects as many writers and actors walked out over the looming issue of AI overuse. Now that the strikes are over, work has once again proceeded and Scott is confident that shooting can once again begin within the next two weeks.

Talking to Varietyabout when he can get the sequel back on track following the Hollywood protests, the 'Alien' director said: "Thank God it's over. We shot about 90 minutes, at least that's finished. It's really getting the sets cleaned up; they're already built. I got another 90 minutes to go."

Speaking about the idle time he had on his hands for the past six months of the strikes, he said: "I prepped the film after 'Gladiator'. I have a script finished to the extent that we've already pitched to studios and I've already recce'd it. I used time out to find out where I'm going to do it."

As the director was unable to meet with much of his 'Gladiator 2' cast during the strikes, he was asked whether he was worried if the actors had gained weight by not exercising or just over-eating."

To this he confidently replied: "None of my guys do that. Paul Mescal is really very fit and stays that way. I haven't seen the other ones yet, so I hope they're not porked up."

Elaborating on what made him want to even direct a sequel, and that too after 20 years, Scott said: "Well, economically, it makes sense. That always begins there. I thought the first film was, as it were, completely satisfactory, creatively complete, so why muck with it, right? But these cycles keeps going on and on and on, they repeat globally for the last 20 years."

"It started to spell itself out as an obvious thing to do, and that's how it evolved. The hardest thing is getting the footprint right with the writer. There was a very obvious way to go, which was who's the survivor?"

"Well, the survivor could be Connie, Marcus' daughter, but what's even more interesting, and therefore a double whammy, there's the son. Whatever happened to him? It became about that, and that's Paul Mescal. It's 20 years on. That was harder than casting Russell as Maximus, that was more obvious," he added.