PETA has raised concerns about the use of live animals on the set of director Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 after whistleblowers spoke out about horses and monkeys on the set of the highly-anticipated sequel. 

In a statement obtained by DailyMail.com, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claimed they had been informed that a horse’s leg had given out on set after allegedly working in ‘dire conditions’ and that the film had been ‘exploiting’ real macaque monkeys.

‘PETA and Animal Liberation Malta are not entertained after receiving whistleblower reports that Gladiator 2 is exploiting real macaque monkeys and forcing horses to work in direct sun, apparently in conditions so dire that one horse’s leg gave out on set,’ the organization said.

‘We urge director Ridley Scott to stop turning animal suffering into a spectacle as the ancient Romans did, and for stars Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington to do their part to bring Scott back into the 21st century.’

It comes amid a TMZ report alleging Scott had been sent several letters from the animal rights organization asking him to stop using the animals for his movie.

DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for Mr. Scott, his production company working on the film, Scott Free Productions, and Paramount Pictures for comment.

Raising concerns: PETA is imploring director Ridley Scott to cease using live animals for the making of Gladiator 2 after whistleblower reports raised concerns about horses and monkeys on the set of the highly-anticipated sequel

Raising concerns: PETA is imploring director Ridley Scott to cease using live animals for the making of Gladiator 2 after whistleblower reports raised concerns about horses and monkeys on the set of the highly-anticipated sequel

Raising concerns: PETA is imploring director Ridley Scott to cease using live animals for the making of Gladiator 2 after whistleblower reports raised concerns about horses and monkeys on the set of the highly-anticipated sequel

The letter re-iterated fears about the monkeys and horses being used for the film, speculating the heat led to the horse collapsing on set.

It also asked them to ‘immediately cancel plans’ to use the real animals in the movie. 

In addition, PETA said they have been made aware of Mr. Scott’s plans to continue filming for the next few days despite the SAG-AFTRA strike that recently went into effect.

‘PETA and Animal Liberation Malta continue to receive complaints about animal use from the set of the Gladiator 2 production in Malta. Another whistleblower report just came in that a horse’s leg gave out on set, presumably due to the heat, with concerns that the horses (who are in costume) are being exposed to hot temperatures and sometimes forced to stand in direct sunlight during and between takes.

‘Scorching summer heat and oppressive costumes are a dangerous mix for horses, who are naturally skittish animals, prone to flight and injury, and vulnerable to the stresses of a film set. The film and TV industries have a past riddled with on-set horse injuries and even deaths. We sincerely hope Gladiator 2 avoids adding another death to that list.

‘In addition to the concerns we have already addressed in our previous letter, we wanted to make sure you were aware that macaques can be unpredictable and that it’s within a monkey’s nature to solve problems with aggression, so they can and will attack and bite humans. Their teeth are sharp, their jaws are strong, and their bites are often severe. Macaques commonly carry the herpes B virus, which can be deadly to humans, so keeping them in the vicinity of humans results in public health risks as well.

‘Despite the SAG-AFTRA strike, we’re told that production plans to continue Tuesday through Saturday next week. We urge you to immediately cancel plans to use real animals for the film.’

The Los Angeles Times spoke with a source close to production who said ‘there have not been any animal injuries or incidents’ on the set of the film, and that certified animal safety representatives working on behalf of the American Humane Society have been in attendance during filming. 

Hitting back: In a statement obtained by DailyMail.com, PETA claimed they had been informed by a whistleblower that a horse's leg had given out on set after allegedly working in dire conditions and that the film had been 'exploiting' real macaque monkeys

Hitting back: In a statement obtained by DailyMail.com, PETA claimed they had been informed by a whistleblower that a horse's leg had given out on set after allegedly working in dire conditions and that the film had been 'exploiting' real macaque monkeys

Hitting back: In a statement obtained by DailyMail.com, PETA claimed they had been informed by a whistleblower that a horse’s leg had given out on set after allegedly working in dire conditions and that the film had been ‘exploiting’ real macaque monkeys

Lights, camera, action: The Malta set of Gladiator 2, pictured earlier this month

Lights, camera, action: The Malta set of Gladiator 2, pictured earlier this month

Lights, camera, action: The Malta set of Gladiator 2, pictured earlier this month

TMZ reports a similar letter was sent to the cast of the film. Gladiator 2 stars Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington.

In addition to the leading stars, the website claims Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, Lior Raz, Joseph Quinn, Matt Lucas, Derek Jacobi, Peter Mensah, Chi Lewis-Parry and Mike Parish were among those sent letters.

It comes a month after crew members were reportedly injured in an explosion on the set of Gladiator.

Six crew members had to be rushed to a hospital after they were engulfed in a fireball, The Sun reported last month.

The highly anticipated sequel has been shooting in Morocco and the neighboring Sahara desert.

There are still few details available about the incident, but it appears to have been a special effects shot that went wrong, causing the dangerous explosion.

Iconic: The upcoming film is a sequel to Ridley Scott's 2000 film Gladiator, which was a critical and commercial hit

Iconic: The upcoming film is a sequel to Ridley Scott's 2000 film Gladiator, which was a critical and commercial hit

Iconic: The upcoming film is a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 film Gladiator, which was a critical and commercial hit

One on-set source shared their hopes that the injured crew members would make a full recovery, though their condition is unclear.

‘It was terrifying — a huge ball of fire flew up and caught several crew members in its path,’ the source recalled. ‘In years of filming I’ve never seen an accident so scary.’

The explosion is reportedly being investigated, and witnesses to the explosion have reportedly speculated that it may have been caused by a gas pipe rupture on set.

‘Six production staff had to be rushed to hospital for treatment,’ they said, and it appears that no actors on the film were injured in the inferno.

‘Hopefully everyone will be OK, but it was a serious accident,’ the source added. ‘Everyone involved, from the lowliest runners to the star names, has been shaken up by this.’

Acclaimed: Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe

Acclaimed: Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe

Acclaimed: Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe

The upcoming film is a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 film Gladiator, which was a critical and commercial hit.

The historical epic grossed five times its budget, and it helped cement the stardom of Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.

Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.

While the new film brings back director Ridley Scott, Crowe won’t be featured, as his character died at the end of the original film.

Paul Mescal will be leading the new film as Lucius, the nephew of the emperor Commodus (Phoenix) and the secret son of Crowe’s character Maximus, who was saved in the original film by his father.

He was played as a child in the first film by Spencer Treat Clark, but the Irish actor will be taking over the part.

Connie Neilsen will reprise her role as Lucilla, his mother, while Derek Jacobi will also return as a Roman senator and Djimon Hounsou will be back playing a former gladiator and friend of Maximus.

Denzel Washington has joined the cast in an important role, though his character has not yet been revealed.

Pedro Pascal and Matt Lucas are among the new cast members, and Stranger Things’ breakout star Joseph Quinn will play Emperor Caracalla, who has often been painted as a tyrant in histories of the era.

Gladiator 2 is expected to debut in theaters in late 2024.

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