Russell Crowe Unveils Gladiator’s Original Script Secrets: The original script of the film ‘Gladiator’ was heavily criticized by actor Russell Crowe as being “rubbish” and unappealing to contemporary audiences. Mr. Crowe has a lengthy and fruitful career in Hollywood and has played numerous classic roles. He received an Academy Award for his performance as the protagonist Maximus in Ridley Scott’s illustrious film Gladiator. Crowe, recently interviewed for Vanity Fair, shared his experience making the movie and some of the difficulties he encountered.
While expressing his concerns about the original script, he explained that the script had some strange sequences that wouldn’t resonate with a modern audience. Despite these concerns, Crowe remained steadfast in being part of the project after his conversations with director Ridley Scott.
“Gladiator is my 20-something-the movie, so I was confident about my abilities as a lead man. What I wasn’t confident about Gladiator was the world that was surrounding me. At the core of what we were doing was a great concept, but the script was rubbish. Absolute rubbish. And it has all these, sort of, strange sequences. One of them was about chariots and how famous gladiators – and this is all true, right? – to use certain types of chariots and some famous gladiators had endorsement deals with products for olive oil and like that.”
“And that’s all true, but it’s just not gonna ring right to a modern audience. They’re gonna go, ‘What the f*ck is all this?’ The energy around what we were doing was very fractured. I did think a couple of times, maybe my best option is just to get on a plane and get out of here, you know? It was my continued conversations with Ridley that sort of gave me faith.”
– Russell Crowe
Gladiator has become a cinematic classic that has stood the test of time. The film tells the story of Maximus, a Roman general who seeks revenge after being betrayed by his government. Gladiator received critical acclaim upon its release, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Over 20 years later, the film continues to captivate audiences, and its impact is evident in the recently announced sequel, Gladiator 2.
Russell Crowe Reveals Details of Scrapped Gladiator 2 Plot
On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Russell Crowe recently discussed in depth the sequel that was canceled. Initially, it was intended for the sequel, whose working title was “Christ Killer,” to continue the first film’s realistic tone. Crowe’s plan, though, was to adopt a more fantastical strategy by having Maximus fight his way through time and get stuck in limbo.
The concept was that Maximus had killed too many people to go to Heaven but proved himself to be too good to be cast into Hell, so he was stuck between the two worlds. Despite the idea being a departure from the original film’s realistic perspective, Crowe felt that the world of Gladiator was already pretty fanciful, so he hired Nick Cave to pen the script for the unexpected sequel.
“The other side of that was, this other idea I had, was he’s killed too many people to go to Heaven but he’s too good a man to be cast into Hell. So you meet Maximus and it’s like you’re in a refugee camp on the Somalian border. You don’t know where you are, but when you meet him and realize he’s in Limbo, he’s stuck between worlds. The idea that we had, to get him back to Earth, it was all just the fireballs and [it was] cool and we could have done it, but these things require a whole bunch of people to be facing in the same direction. I was very, very busy so I didn’t give it time that I should have.”
-Russell Crowe Further Explains.
Gladiator 2 is currently in the works, but it is still unclear how the film will shape up. The movie features a new protagonist, Lucio, played by Paul Mescal (last seen in Oscar-nominated Aftersun), and includes an impressive cast that includes Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan. Gladiator 2 is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2024.