Taxpayers Contribute $60 Million to the Budget of a Long-Awaited Sequel

Having spent decade existing as nothing but a whisper, Gladiator 2 has gone a long way to shaking off its tag as a sequel that arguably never need to happen by recruiting an eye-wateringly stacked cast to cement itself as one of the most hotly-anticipated blockbusters on the horizon.

Despite largely shooting internationally, director Ridley Scott’s follow-up to the influential 2000 original that single-handedly reignited the popularity of the historical epic and won five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor halted production in support of the ongoing strikes, but locals in the country where the bulk of filming has happened aren’t too pleased with a recent development.

Image via Dreamworks

According to Times of Malta, Gladiator 2 has been awarded a €47 million tax refund by the authorities, which isn’t far off $60 million when adjusted for inflation. It comes as part of a scheme to offer up to 40 percent in rebates for any movie that shoots in the nation, with this one setting a record for the single biggest state aid awarded to any cinema project so far.

The obvious downside is that industry professionals are concerned that the funds won’t be going back into the local economy as one insider put it.

“A big chunk of the money is spent abroad and only a small fraction of it eventually ends up in the Maltese economy.”

Another noted that “we’d be lucky as a country if we manage to end up with €10 million in our economy,” so the generosity of the Maltese government is understandably being questioned following the belief from many that it’s only going to end up in Hollywood pockets.

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