THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER Star Russell Crowe Debunks Reports He Will Return For GLADIATOR 2

There was a lot of confusion when reports first started swirling that Thor: Love and Thunder star Russell Crowe will return for Gladiator 2, and the actor has now debunked those rumours once and for all.

There's a huge amount of intrigue surrounding the planned Gladiator sequel, but rumours Thor: Love and Thunder star Russell Crowe will reprise his role have now been proven false. 

It's previously been claimed that the follow-up will revolve around Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen's Lucilla, and the nephew of Commodus, Joaquin Phoenix's villain in the hit 2000 movie. Paul Mescal (Normal People) is said to be in talks for a lead role, making it likely that this is who he's being eyed to play. 

During a recent interview on the Australian radio show Fitzy and Wippa (via ActioNewz.com), Crowe was asked if he's part of the sequel. "Not at all," he responded. "So, I know roughly how [Scott]'s shaping the story. But yeah, you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator? Which leads to the 'My name is' speech. So that young kid has grown up, and he's now the Emperor."

"I don't know what else happens at that point, but that's the idea," the actor concluded, seemingly confirming the rough plot details above. 

While some might argue that it would make sense for Crowe to play a supporting role as Maximus Decimus Meridius for the marketing potential alone, a lot of people seem to have forgotten one crucial detail: the character dies! After becoming a Gladiator, he gains his revenge on the evil Commodus, but is ultimately killed and reunites with his family in the afterlife. 

With that in mind, focusing on a new protagonist and dealing with the legacy of Commodus and Maximus is bound to lead to a vastly more interesting story than if the latter was somehow resurrected. 

The first movie was a major hit, grossing $460.5 million at the worldwide box office and earning five Academy Awards, including "Best Picture" and "Best Actor" for Crowe. 

Gladiator 2 will also be directed by Sir Ridley Scott, but doesn't currently have a confirmed release date.

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