Parts of Gladiator set to become a tourist attraction


Parts of Gladiator set to become a tourist attraction after film is completed

Filming on the blockbuster sequel will begin 'in coming weeks'

Parts of the film set on which the Gladiator sequel will be shot are to be retained as a tourist attraction after filming is completed, the Tourism Minister told parliament on Tuesday.

Clayton Bartolo said the government is in talks with local and international producers of the film to have the set transformed into an attraction, in a bid to continue pushing Malta's film industry as another niche in the tourism sector.

"The huge sets, which are largely being built by Maltese workers with great skill, are being built not just for the shooting of this film, because we want to see parts of the sets used as a tourist attraction," he said.

Bartolo was replying to a parliamentary question by fellow Labour MP Randolph Debattista.

The only time a film set in Malta was retained as a tourist attraction was in 1980, when the film set for Popeye in Anchor Bay, which includes 19 timber buildings, was transformed into what is today known as Popeye Village.

20 film productions this year

Bartolo said the film industry contributed €85 million to the economy last year and Malta has already welcomed 20 film productions this year.

He said the industry is flourishing and creating more career opportunities for all kinds of professions.

"We are not creating jobs - we are creating careers. We are working to create a legacy of another industry that yields opportunities to those who work in it and to our children," he said.

Ridley Scott's sequel to Gladiator will be filmed in Malta, following up on the 2000 Oscar-winning Roman epic that was also partly filmed on the island.

The production will be largely shot at Fort Ricasoli, which also served as the main setting for the original film.

The sequel comes 23 years after the release of Gladiator that had starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, a former general forced into becoming a gladiator under the rule of self-appointed Roman emperor Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix.

Filming is set to take place this summer and men, women and children from every ethnicity were wanted to fill a historically accurate Rome, complete with all the nations they conquered and enslaved. By early last month 900 people applied to play extras in the film.

The film is expected to have Paul Mescal, Barry Keoghan and Denzel Washington among the lead roles.

Paramount has set a November 2024 release for the film.

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