Gladiator premiered in 2000 and went on to win five Academy Awards 

By Ally Mauch
May 20, 2020 11:28 AM
Connie Nielsen - Gladiator
Connie Nielson and Russell Crowe in Gladiator
| Credit: DreamWorks/ Everett

It’s been 20 years since Gladiator first premiered — and fans of the epic can finally rejoice at the news of a potential sequel.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Gladiator star Connie Nielsen said she has heard about a follow up to the Ridley Scott-directed classic.

"So, we did hear from the producers,” she said. “I think it's just a question of which film is coming first in Ridley's very tight schedule. And then I think it's a question of COVID and can we get back to work.”

The actress, 54, continued, “But I would be interested in doing [the film], for sure. I mean, it's obviously a wonderful project, so of course I would be interested."

Nielsen plays Lucilla in Gladiator, sister to a corrupt Roman emperor played by Joaquin Phoenix. Russell Crowe stars as Maximus, a former general who seeks revenge against the emperor for murdering his family and attempts to overthrow the leader with help from Lucilla.

Connie Nielsen
Connie Nielsen
| Credit: Sonia Recchia/Getty

After its release in May 2000, the film went on to receive five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, awarded to Crowe.

Despite Gladiator’s setting in ancient Rome, Nielsen said Scott fought to make sure that Lucilla was a progressive character.

"It was one of the things that made me feel so grateful to be part of the whole film, really,” Nielson said. “Ridley really was intent on making this character an equal to those men, if not even more than an equal. And I think that he heard me loud and clear when I complained at our very first meeting of the way that Hollywood treats women.”

“I think that he just is somebody who was very intent on making that character be the smartest person in the room, and it was also what made me so proud of playing that character," she added.

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Crowe recently marked the anniversary of the release on Twitter, quoting another famous catchphrase from the movie.

"20 years ago today Gladiator was released in cinemas in the United States ... Strength and Honour ..." he wrote, recalling the line his character repeats throughout the film.