Gladiator Sequel's Initial Script Is Quite Surprising

The story really takes a shocking turn.

Gladiator was released 17 years ago and it’s still in our hearts today. The film was nominated for over 36 awards, including the BAFTAS, Golden Globes, and the Academy Awards.

According to the New York Times, the film also sparked a rise in interest in Roman classical history.

The story pits the general of the Roman forces Maximus (Russel Crowe) against Prince Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), who has just killed his father.

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures/Universal Pictures

The film ends with Maximus’ death after he finally achieves revenge on Commodus for killing his family.

There was some discussion on a sequel’s development in 2001. Crowe even began researching Roman afterlife theories.

Crowe, along with Ridley Scott, approached Australian screenplay writer, composer and musician Nick Cave to write the sequel.

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures/Universal Pictures

Cave’s idea surfaced on the web in 2009.

Maximus wakes to find himself in the afterlife. He is offered the chance to live with his family again. However, he has to protect all Christians on Earth.

He also finds out that his son is somehow alive (he was last seen hanging as a charred corpse). Despite being very religious, his son convinces Maximus to revolt against the gods.

After getting eternal life, Maximus is present in World War II and the Vietnam War, before ending up at the Pentagon.


Crowe’s answer, however, was, “Don’t like it, mate”.

Scott however said, “Russell didn’t want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well. When I say, ‘worked very well’, I don’t refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well. Storytelling, [it] works brilliantly. I think [Cave] enjoyed doing it, and I think it was one of those things that he thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s a sequel where we can adjust the fantasy and bring [Maximus] back from the dead.'”

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