Thousands of extras will be recruited for the sequel to the blockbuster Gladiator, with shooting in Malta expected to start in the beginning of summer.
After months of rumours about whether Malta will once again play host to Ridley Scott’s gladiatorial epic, industry insiders confirmed the production for the film will start around June and the shoot will run for about four months.
“It’s a once-in-a-generation production. This is going to be big,” one source said.
The new film comes 23 years after the release of Gladiator that starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, a former general forced into becoming a gladiator under the rule of the self-appointed Roman emperor Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
The film won the Oscar for best picture, and Crowe took home the prize for best actor.
More than two decades later, “thousands” of extras will be engaged for the filming of the sequel, especially to shoot the gladiator scenes.
The production will be largely shot at Fort Ricasoli, the large fortification in Kalkara, which also served as the main setting for the original film.
Production will be a 'much bigger' one than the original 2000 film
Preparations at Fort Ricasoli are already taking place, with large scaffolding being mounted. Sources said the production will be a “much bigger” one than the original 2000 film, and the tank facilities are also expected to be used for one of the battle scenes.
Over the past few weeks, several billboards promoting jobs within the film industry were erected along the streets.
Meanwhile, Variety magazine revealed last Thursday that A-lister Denzel Washington is in final talks to join the team of the Gladiator sequel.
Washington and Scott previously worked together in the 2007 biographical crime film American Gangster.
The film is expected to have Oscar nominees Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan among the lead roles. Mescal is expected to play Lucius, the son of Maximus lover Lucilla, as a grown man.
David Scarpa is penning the script for the sequel.
Paramount has set a November 2024 release for the epic.
Scott was again in Malta last year, shooting part of his upcoming historical epic Napoleon. Last October, Scott’s executive producer Aidan Elliot had said it was a “no-brainer” for them to choose Malta for previous films thanks to the lucrative cash-back scheme.
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