Gladiator: A recent interview with director Ridley Scott over at Empire Online has revealed many details about the proposed Gladiator sequel as well as certain plans for the film which are going into effect:

"It's written," he told us, "we've already done quite a lot of work and the draft's in now. The target would be early 2005." Don't expect to see Russell Crowe lose his beer gut for a return any time soon though, Gladiator 2 plans to pick up where the first film left off, shifting the focus considerably. "It's the next generation. Roman history is so exotic that any part of it is really fascinating. History is far more exotic than anything you can dream up. The film will take the next step, which is the son. [Lucilla's] son, Lucius."

No casting decisions have yet been made (though you can bet Connie Nielsen will make an appearance) and Scott insists that the action in Gladiator 2 will take place entirely outside the Coliseum, abandoning the first film's gladiatorial focus. "No, no we can't do that again. We've done that. I wouldn't' touch gladiators again. I mean, I wouldn't touch the gladiatorial side again, we have to go to the next step." So will the film lean more towards the epic battle that kicked off the original? "No, there will be more politics and praetorians. The parts that are interesting, which always lead to conflict."

Stay tuned for more on this project...