Gladiator 2 | Paramount disputes $310m budget figure

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Given the film’s torturous production, Gladiator 2 is undoubtedly over budget. But just how much is a point of contention, it seems.

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 has suffered quite a few issues throughout its production. Crew members were injured on set and hospitalised. The film was shut down due to the strikes, costing the production an estimated $600,000 per week as the industry shutdown lasted for months on end. PETA sent a letter to Scott expressing concern about the way horses and monkeys were being treated on set. One of the film’s stars, Barry Keoghan, left on the eve of production due to scheduling issues as well.

The film is now in the can, but at what cost? The labour stoppages alone were slated to have cost the film around $10m, but that doesn’t account for the film’s budget almost doubling, from an expected $165m to almost $310m. That’s a huge, huge overage and The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that its sources are stating that it’s an accurate one too.

Paramount is disputing the claim, stating that ‘the net cost of the 49-day shoot was under $250 million’ but either way, it’s far more than the studio would have wanted to pay given the diminished state of the box office right now. As things move towards the film’s November launch, it’s certainly not the the narrative wants out in public, given that the film marks the highlight of the studio’s end-year slate.

Read more: Ridley Scott revisited: Gladiator | An epic examination of Pax Americana

Still, at least it has baboons in it. Ridley Scott seems happy about that, if nothing else.

Paul Mescal will lead the film with Fred Hechinger, May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, Matt Lucas all featuring. We also get Derek Jacobi, who reprises his role as Gracchus. Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn and Connie Nielsen, the latter of whom is reprising her role as Lucilla, are all co-starring.

It’s a great cast, and a sequel to an iconic film that set the world abuzz upon its release in 2000. Things haven’t run smoothly for the sequel thus far though, but Paramount will be hoping that all of that is forgotten when it releases in November.

As it stands, it has some space to perform, although Jon M Chu’s Wicked: Part One releases the following week. There are no other big hitters slated after that until almost a month later when Mufasa: The Lion King releases, so Gladiator 2 certainly has the platform to succeed and make a profit for Paramount, even if we don’t quite know what kind of numbers will get the film into the green.

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