Say what now? According to Deadline, Ridley Scott is moving forward with development on a sequel to his Oscar-winning 2000 film Gladiator, which he plans to direct from a script that is to be written by The Town scribe Peter Craig. The sequel will, of course, be sans Russell Crowe.
That’s not because Crowe doesn’t want to a return for a sequel, it’s just that, well, spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen this 18-year-old movie by now, his Maximus Decimus Meridius bites the dust in the previous film. So who will be taking the lead this time around?
The report notes that “Gladiator 2 will follow the continuing story of Lucius,” who was the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the villainous son of Marcus Aurelius who ends up facing off against Maximus in the gladiator ring.
Apparently, Maximus “left a strong impression on the young Lucius” after defeating Commodus at the end of the original Gladiator, and so he’ll be picking up a sword and shield himself in the sequel to follow in the footsteps of the late commander-turned-gladiator.
Frankly, these days, sword-and-sandal movies, which once prospered during the golden age of Hollywood, have had a tough time winning over the interest of modern-day audiences and pretty much flop at the box office every time a studio tries to push one out. However, a sequel to a film as beloved as Gladiator could turn that around for the genre.
Scott has a lot on his plate at the moment, including his first ever TV series for TNT, which he’s currently shooting in South Africa, and a drama about photojournalist Lyndsey Addario starring Scarlett Johansson, so it’s currently unclear as to when he’ll get around to doing this Gladiator sequel.
M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel ‘Glass’ heading towards $50 million opening weekend
M. Night Shyamalan’s eagerly awaited sequel Glass is off to a solid start at the North American box office, raking in more than $3.7 million from 3,200 theaters on Thursday, putting it on track to have the second-largest debut ever for a January release.
The film, which expands into 3,841 theaters today, is expected to earn just over $50 million over the course of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, putting it behind only American Sniper, which opened to $89.2 million over the same holiday weekend in 2014.
Glass, which brings together the narratives of Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable and his 2016 film Split, was written and directed by Shyamalan, who also produced along with Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock, and Ashwin Rajan.
The sequel sees Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their respective roles as David Dunn and Elijah Price from Unbreakable, while James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy return as Kevin Wendell Crumb and Casey Cooke from Split, respectively.
While many critics were hoping Glass would be another step in the right direction for Shyamalan, whose career has suffered from multiple critically-panned misfires, it seems most of them left largely unimpressed by the filmmaker’s latest offering, earning the film a measly 36% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, despite the disapproval of critics, Glass does seem to be performing exceptionally well with audiences, who have given the film an 80% approval rating on the review aggregator—a significantly higher number than the critic score.
Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae to star in the romantic comedy ‘The Lovebirds’ from Paramount
Following the surprise success of the sleeper hit rom-com The Big Sick in the summer of 2017, THR is reporting that Kumail Nanjiani is reteaming with director Michael Showalter for The Lovebirds, a new romantic comedy in which the comedian will star opposite Issa Rae.
According to the film’s logline, The Lovebirds follows a couple on the brink of a breakup when they suddenly find themselves caught in the middle of a bizarre, hijinks-filled murder mystery, forcing them to figure out how they, and their relationship, can ultimately survive the night.
Showalter will direct the film, which Paramount recently acquired the rights to and has decided to put on the fast-track to production, from a script written by Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero.
Tom Lassally, Oly Obst, Todd Shulman, Jordana Mollick and Gero are producing The Lovebirds along with executive producers Nanjiani, Rae, and Showalter. MRC is co-producing and co-financing the project.
Nanjiani, who is also set to begin shooting the eagerly awaited next season of the HBO comedy Silicon Valley later this year, earned an Oscar nomination in 2018 for his screenplay for The Big Sick, which he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon.
Rae recently starred in the social justice drama The Hate U Give and will next appear in Black-ish star Marsai Martin’s upcoming comedy Little. She is also the co-creator, writer, executive producer, and star of the HBO comedy Insecure, which was recently renewed for a fourth season.
Keanu Reeves is on the run from a gang of bounty-hunters in the ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ trailer
Lionsgate has released the first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the eagerly awaited next installment in the action series, which finds Keanu Reeves‘ titular hitman on the run from an onslaught of bounty-hunters in New York City.
Indeed, the hunter becomes the hunted in Parabellum as John Wick returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and a group of assassins hot on his trail, hoping to get their reward.
After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild known as the High Table, Wick is excommunicado, but some of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women are around every corner, awaiting his every turn.
Parabellum finds Chad Stahelski, who co-directed the first John Wick along with David Leitch before going solo on the second movie, back behind the camera, working from a script written by Derek Kolstad.
In addition to Reeves, Parabellum‘s all-star cast includes the likes of Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Robin Lord Taylor, Asia Kate Dillon, Jason Mantzoukas, John Leguizamo, and Jerome Flynn.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will hit theaters on May 17.