Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 is reportedly a financial “runaway,” with production costing $310M

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 production is reportedly a financial disaster, with costs exceeding the anticipated total.

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

Gladiator 2, Ridley Scott, budget, production

Paramount could throw Ridley Scott to the lions if Gladiator 2 fails to perform like gangbusters at the box office. A new report from The Hollywood Reporter reveals the ballooning cost of production on the anticipated sequel, with insiders close to the project saying the film budgeted at $165 million is closer to $310 million. Let that amount sink in for a moment.

Per THR’s sources, the net cost of the 49-day shoot was under $250 million. “It’s a runaway,” says one source. “It’s not being managed.” How did this happen? The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes did not help. Production for Gladiator 2 shut down in July because of the negotiations, costing the studio $600,000 a week, roughly $10 million. Scott resumed filming in December, though some say he continued to capture footage using extras during the strikes.

Some wonder if the Gladiator 2 set was cursed. In June, six crewmembers sustained non-life-threatening burn injuries. Additionally, PETA wrote Scott an open letter about how a “whistleblower” informed them about the mistreatment of horses and monkeys. However, crewmembers insist the Humane Society was always on-site, overseeing the treatment and care of the animals.

“While filming a planned stunt sequence on the set of the Gladiator sequel, an accident occurred during which several crew members experienced non-life-threatening injuries,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement last year. “The safety and full medical services teams on-site were able to act quickly so that those who were impacted immediately received necessary care. They are all in stable condition and continue to receive treatment. The well-being of the cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us, and we have strict health and safety procedures in place on all our productions. We will continue monitoring the situation and taking all necessary precautions as we resume production.”

Mescal leads the sequel to Ridley Scott‘s action-drama, taking over the lead from Russell Crowe’s Maximus from the first film. Mescal plays Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who is fully grown in the sequel. The story takes place several years after Maximus’ death in the original. Before he died, Maximus rescued Lucius and his mother from the clutches of the young man’s uncle, Commodus (Phoenix). The event left an impression on Lucius, who aspires to be as formidable as Maximus as he braves a harsh world.

Ridley Scott directs the Gladiator sequel from a script by David Scarpa (All The Money In the World). The film stars Paul Mescal (Aftersun) as Lucius, the young boy who idolized Maximus (Russell Crowe) in the original movie. The cast also includes Denzel Washington (The Equalizer 3), Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman), May Calamawy (Moon Knight), Lior Raz (The Crowded Room), Peter Mensah (Spartacus), Matt Lucas (Wonka), Fred Hechinger (The White Lotus), and Derek Jacobi (Murder on the Orient Express). Russell Crowe isn’t involved in the new Gladiator movie, but he did express a slight amount of jealousy about the experience Mescal has ahead of him.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.