Ridley Scott is doing the finishing touches on his latest science fiction movie, “Alien: Covenant.” However, the great director revealed that he has an idea for a sequel for “Gladiator,” his famous movie set in ancient Rome, which would have its star Russell Crowe coming back to reprise the character General Maximus. The problem is that the character died at the end of the movie – apparently.

Mind, “Gladiator” did a lot of violence to ancient Roman history. For one thing, the Emperor Commodus was not killed in a gladiatorial contest in full view of the Roman people.

He was poisoned and then strangled in his bath. Nor did the death of Commodus presage the rebirth of the Roman Republic. The gladiator-emperor was barely cold when the empire was put up for auction among rival claimants and before a general named Septimius Severus (well named) restored some semblance of order at the point of a gladius.

Let us suppose that Maximus was not dead, but only mostly dead. He is spirited away to recover from his wounds by his friends, including his old friend and one-time lover, Lucilla, sister of the dead emperor. Having fulfilled his vow of avenging his wife and son, Maximus settles down to a quiet life back at the farm in Spain with Lucilla.

15 or 20 years later brings us smack in the midst of Severus’ reign.

The one thing good about the new Emperor is that he restored the Pax Romana, albeit at the cost of debasing the currency to pay for military campaigns. He was also a great builder.

Maximus may view Severus as a fellow soldier who wants to do right by the Empire and who needs his help. Severus had the same problem that Marcus Aurelius had in that he had incompetent offspring, Caracalla, and Geta.

When Severus died, the two sons had a falling out, resulting in Geta being assassinated and Caracalla having a brief reign as emperor marked by cruelty and instability. Does Severus try to work the same deal Marcus Aurelius did by making Maximus his heir? That, of course, will not end well.

Of course, that sequel would seem more like a remake with different people. But that has never stopped Hollywood before.