Gladiator (2000 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Story by||David Franzoni|
|Editing by||Pietro Scalia|
|Running time||155 minutes|
Gladiator is a 2000 epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the fictional character, loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when the emperor's ambitious son, Commodus, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor.
Released in the United States on May 5, 2000, Gladiator was a box office success, receiving positive reviews, and was credited with rekindling interest in the historical epic. The film was nominated for and won multiple awards, notably five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.
In AD 180, General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) leads the Roman army to a decisive victory against Germanic tribes at Vindobona, ending a long war on the Roman frontier and earning the esteem of the elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Though he had a male heir, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the dying emperor wishes to grant temporary leadership to Maximus, hoping eventually to return power to the Roman Senate. When his father tells him of the decision, Commodus, already bitter that Marcus favors Maximus over him, murders his father in a fit of rage and claims the throne.
Maximus realizes the truth about Marcus' death, but is betrayed by his friend, General Quintus (Tomas Arana), who reluctantly instructs the Praetorian guards to carry out Commodus' order to execute Maximus, his wife (Giannina Facio), and son (Giorgio Cantarini). Maximus manages to escape but is unable to return in time to save his family. After burying them, Maximus is found unconscious by slave traders and taken to Zucchabar, a Roman city in North Africa. There, he is bought by Proximo (Oliver Reed) and forced to fight for his life as a gladiator in arena tournaments. During this time, he befriends fellow gladiators Juba (Djimon Hounsou) and Hagen (Ralf Möller). Juba tells Maximus to have faith that he will be reunited with his family in the afterlife.
Maximus proves a fierce gladiator; with nothing left to live for, he is fearless in the arena. He ultimately reaches the prestigious Roman Colosseum, where his group is contracted to fight in a tribute to the Battle of Zama. Concealing his identity with a helmet, he skillfully leads a band of gladiators to defeat an opposing chariot and archer force, earning the crowd's praise. Forced to reveal himself to a stunned Commodus in the arena afterward, the crowd votes to spare his life, and Commodus, obsessed with the people's approval, appeases them by doing so. Maximus later wins against the undefeated gladiator Tigris, as well as tigers released into the arena, yet refuses to obey Commodus' command to perform the coup de grâce. As a result, he is declared "Maximus the Merciful" by the crowd, increasing his popularity and further frustrating Commodus, who cannot kill Maximus without losing favor with the Roman people.
Following the fight, Maximus is told by his former servant Cicero (Tommy Flanagan) that his army is still loyal to him. Maximus then conspires with Commodus' sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the senator Gracchus (Derek Jacobi) to rejoin with his army and topple Commodus by force. Commodus, however, suspects his sister of betrayal and forces her to reveal the plot by using veiled threats against her young son Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark). During Maximus' attempted escape, Commodus' guards attack Proximo's gladiator school, killing Hagen and Proximo. Juba and the survivors are imprisoned, but Maximus makes it to the city walls, where he is captured after a failed attempt to save Cicero.
Desperate to get Maximus out of the way and prove his own greatness, Commodus arranges a duel with him in the arena. Unknown to the crowd, Commodus stabs a restrained Maximus with a stiletto to gain advantage over him before they enter the arena. During the fight, Maximus manages to disarm Commodus, while Quintus disobeys the emperor's demand for his sword and commands his soldiers to do the same. Commodus then produces the hidden stiletto, but Maximus plunges the blade into Commodus' throat, killing him.
With his dying words, Maximus carries out Marcus Aurelius' wishes, calling for Gracchus to be reinstated, the slaves to be freed, and power to be restored to the Senate. As he dies, Maximus reunites with his family in the afterlife. Lucilla then reiterates his wishes and honors his memory. Some time later, Juba buries Maximus' two small figurines of his wife and son in the ground where his friend Maximus died, promising to see him in the afterlife, "but not yet".
- Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius: A morally upstanding Hispano-Roman general in Germania, forced into becoming a slave who seeks revenge against Commodus. He had been under the favor of Marcus Aurelius, and the love and admiration of Lucilla prior to the events of the film. His home is near Trujillo in today's Province of Cáceres, Spain (in fact the city where he's from is Mérida, capital of the province of Lusitania). After the murder of his family he vows vengeance. Maximus is a fictional character partly inspired by Marcus Nonius Macrinus, Narcissus, Spartacus, Cincinnatus, and Maximus of Hispania. Mel Gibson was first offered the role, but declined as he felt he was too old to play the character. Antonio Banderas and Hugh Jackman were also considered.
- Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus: The twisted son of Marcus Aurelius, he murders his father when he learns that Maximus is to become Emperor. Earlier played by Christopher Plummer in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Jude Law was also considered for this role.
- Connie Nielsen as Lucilla: Maximus's former lover and the older child of Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla has been recently widowed. She tries to resist her brother's incestuous advances while protecting her son, Lucius.
- Djimon Hounsou as Juba: A Numidian tribesman who was taken from his home and family by slave traders. He becomes Maximus's closest ally.
- Oliver Reed as Antonius Proximo: An old, gruff gladiator trainer who buys Maximus in North Africa. A former gladiator himself, he was freed by Marcus Aurelius, and gives Maximus his own armor and eventually a chance at freedom. This was Reed's final film; he died during filming.
- Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus: One of the senators who opposes Commodus' rule.
- Ralf Möller as Hagen: A Germanic warrior and Proximo's chief gladiator who later befriends Maximus and Juba during their battles in Rome.
- Spencer Treat Clark as Lucius Verus: The young son of Lucilla. He is named after his father Lucius Verus. He is also the grandson of Marcus Aurelius.
- Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius: An emperor of Rome who appoints Maximus, whom he loves as a son, with the ultimate aim of returning Rome to a republican form of government. He is murdered by his son Commodus before his wish is fulfilled.
- Tommy Flanagan as Cicero: Maximus' loyal servant who provides him with information while Maximus is enslaved. He was used as bait for an escaping Maximus and eventually killed.
- Tomas Arana as General Quintus: Another Roman general and former friend to Maximus. Made commander of the Praetorian guards by Commodus, earning his loyalty. He later redeems himself by refusing to allow Commodus a sword during his duel with Maximus.
- John Shrapnel as Gaius: Another senator who is in close correspondence to Gracchus.
- David Schofield as Senator Falco: A Patrician, a senator opposed to Gracchus. He helps Commodus to consolidate his power.
- Sven-Ole Thorsen as Tigris of Gaul: An undefeated gladiator who is called out of retirement to kill Maximus.
- David Hemmings as Cassius: An elderly fat man who runs the gladiatorial games in the Colosseum and is the arena announcer.
- Giannina Facio as Maximus' wife
- Giorgio Cantarini as Maximus' son
Gladiator was based on an original pitch by David Franzoni, who wrote the first draft. Franzoni was given a three-picture deal with DreamWorks as writer and co-producer on the strength of his previous work, Steven Spielberg's Amistad, which helped establish the reputation of DreamWorks. Not a classical scholar, Franzoni was inspired by Daniel P. Mannix’s 1958 novel Those About to Die, and he chose to base his story on Commodus after reading the Augustan History. In Franzoni's first draft, dated April 4, 1998, he named his protagonist Narcissus, a wrestler who, according to the ancient sources Herodian and Cassius Dio, strangled Emperor Commodus to death.
Ridley Scott was approached by producers Walter F. Parkes and Douglas Wick. They showed him a copy of Jean-Léon Gérôme's 1872 painting entitled Pollice Verso (Thumbs Down). Scott was enticed by filming the world of Ancient Rome. However, Scott felt Franzoni's dialogue was too "on the nose" and hired John Logan to rewrite the script to his liking. Logan rewrote much of the first act, and made the decision to kill off Maximus' family to increase the character's motivation.
With two weeks to go before filming, the actors complained of problems with the script. William Nicholson was brought to Shepperton Studios to make Maximus a more sensitive character, reworking his friendship with Juba and developed the afterlife thread in the film, saying "he did not want to see a film about a man who wanted to kill somebody." David Franzoni was later brought back to revise the rewrites of Logan and Nicholson, and in the process gained a producer's credit. When Nicholson was brought in, he started going back to Franzoni's original scripts and reading certain scenes. Franzoni helped creatively manage the rewrites and in the role of producer he defended his original script, and argued to stay true to the original vision. Franzoni later shared the Academy Award for Best Picture with producers Douglas Wick and Branko Lustig.
The screenplay faced many rewrites and revisions due to Russell Crowe's script suggestions. Crowe questioned every aspect of the evolving script and strode off the set when he did not get answers. According to a DreamWorks executive, "(Russell Crowe) tried to rewrite the entire script on the spot. You know the big line in the trailer, 'In this life or the next, I will have my vengeance'? At first he absolutely refused to say it." Nicholson, the third and final screenwriter, says Crowe told him, "Your lines are garbage but I'm the greatest actor in the world, and I can make even garbage sound good." Nicholson goes on to say that "probably my lines were garbage, so he was just talking straight."
In preparation for filming, Scott spent several months developing storyboards to develop the framework of the plot. Over six weeks, production members scouted various locations within the extent of the Roman Empire before its collapse, including Italy, France, North Africa, and England. All of the film's props, sets, and costumes were manufactured by crew members due to high costs and unavailability of the items. One hundred suits of steel armour and 550 suits in polyurethane were made by Rod Vass and his company Armordillo. The unique sprayed-polyurethane system was developed by Armordillo and pioneered for this production. Over a three-month period, 27,500 component pieces of armour were made.
The film was shot in three main locations between January and May 1999. The opening battle scenes in the forests of Germania were shot in three weeks in the Bourne Woods, near Farnham, Surrey in England. When Scott learned that the Forestry Commission planned to remove the forest, he convinced them to allow the battle scene to be shot there and burn it down. Scott and cinematographer John Mathieson used multiple cameras filming at various frame rates, similar to techniques used for the battle sequences of Saving Private Ryan (1998). Subsequently, the scenes of slavery, desert travel, and gladiatorial training school were shot in Ouarzazate, Morocco just south of the Atlas Mountains over a further three weeks. To construct the arena where Maximus has his first fights, the crew used basic materials and local building techniques to manufacture the 30,000-mud brick arena. Finally, the scenes of Ancient Rome were shot over a period of nineteen weeks in Fort Ricasoli, Malta.
In Malta, a replica of about one-third of Rome's Colosseum was built, to a height of 52 feet (15.8 meters), mostly from plaster and plywood (the other two-thirds and remaining height were added digitally). The replica took several months to build and cost an estimated $1 million. The reverse side of the complex supplied a rich assortment of Ancient Roman street furniture, colonnades, gates, statuary, and marketplaces for other filming requirements. The complex was serviced by tented "costume villages" that had changing rooms, storage, armorers, and other facilities. The rest of the Colosseum was created in CGI using set-design blueprints and textures referenced from live action, and rendered in three layers to provide lighting flexibility for compositing in Flame and Inferno.
British post-production company The Mill was responsible for much of the CGI effects that were added after filming. The company was responsible for such tricks as compositing real tigers filmed on bluescreen into the fight sequences, and adding smoke trails and extending the flight paths of the opening scene's salvo of flaming arrows to get around regulations on how far they could be shot during filming. They also used 2,000 live actors to create a CG crowd of 35,000 virtual actors that had to look believable and react to fight scenes. The Mill accomplished this feat by shooting live actors at different angles giving various performances, and then mapping them onto cards, with motion-capture tools used to track their movements for 3D compositing. The Mill ended up creating over 90 visual effects shots, comprising approximately nine minutes of the film's running time.
An unexpected post-production job was caused by the death of Oliver Reed of a heart attack during the filming in Malta, before all his scenes had been shot. The Mill created a digital body double for the remaining scenes involving his character Proximo by photographing a live action body-double in the shadows and by mapping a 3D CGI mask of Reed's face to the remaining scenes during production at an estimated cost of $3.2 million for two minutes of additional footage. Visual effects supervisor John Nelson reflected on the decision to include the additional footage: "What we did was small compared to our other tasks on the film. What Oliver did was much greater. He gave an inspiring, moving performance. All we did was help him finish it." The film is dedicated to Reed's memory.
 Historical accuracy
The film is loosely based on historical events. In making the film Ridley Scott wanted to portray the Roman culture more accurately than in any previous film; to that end he hired several historians as advisors. Nevertheless, some deviations from historical fact were made to increase interest, some to maintain narrative continuity, and some for practical or safety reasons. Due to previous Hollywood movies' affecting the public perception of what ancient Rome was like, some historical facts were "too unbelievable" to include (according to Scott). At least one historical advisor resigned due to the changes made, and another asked not to be mentioned in the credits (though it was stated in the director's commentary that he constantly asked, "where is the proof that certain things were exactly like they say?"). Historian Allen Ward of the University of Connecticut believed that historical accuracy would not have made Gladiator less interesting or exciting and stated: "creative artists need to be granted some poetic license, but that should not be a permit for the wholesale disregard of facts in historical fiction".
Marcus Aurelius died of plague at Vindobona; he was not murdered by his son Commodus. So, while in the movie, Commodus strangles his father Marcus Aurelius, in historic truth Marcus Aurelius allowed his immoral son to become emperor, knowing of his moral faults. Thus, the great philosopher emperor ended the beneficent tradition of previous Adoptive Emperors. The character of Maximus is fictional, although in some respects he resembles the historical figures Narcissus (the character's name in the first draft of the screenplay and Commodus' real-life murderer), Spartacus (who led a significant slave revolt), Cincinnatus (a farmer who became dictator, saved Rome from invasion, then resigned his six-month appointment after 15 days), and Marcus Nonius Macrinus (a trusted general, Consul of AD 154, and friend of Marcus Aurelius). Although Commodus engaged in show combat in the Colosseum, he was strangled by the wrestler Narcissus in his bath, not killed in the arena, and reigned for several years, unlike the brief period shown in the film.
The name Maximus Decimus Meridius is inaccurate in terms of Roman naming conventions, which would use Decimus Meridius Maximus, as Maximus was a cognomen and Decimus a given name. He is also called Aelius Maximus.
The film's plot was influenced by two 1960s Hollywood films of the sword-and-sandal genre, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Spartacus, and shares several plot points with The Fall of the Roman Empire, which tells the story of Livius, who, like Maximus in Gladiator, is Marcus Aurelius' intended successor. Livius is in love with Lucilla and seeks to marry her while Maximus, who is happily married, was formerly in love with her. Both films portray the death of Marcus Aurelius as an assassination. In Fall of the Roman Empire a group of conspirators independent of Commodus, hoping to profit from Commodus' accession, arrange for Marcus Aurelius to be poisoned; in Gladiator Commodus himself murders his father by smothering him. In the course of Fall of the Roman Empire Commodus unsuccessfully seeks to win Livius over to his vision of empire in contrast to that of his father, but continues to employ him notwithstanding; in Gladiator, when Commodus fails to secure Maximus's allegiance, he executes Maximus' wife and son and tries unsuccessfully to execute him. Livius in Fall of the Roman Empire and Maximus in Gladiator kill Commodus in single combat, Livius to save Lucilla and Maximus to avenge the murder of his wife and son, and both do it for the greater good of Rome.
Scott attributed Spartacus and Ben-Hur as influences on the film: "These movies were part of my cinema-going youth. But at the dawn of the new millennium, I though this might be the ideal time to revisit what may have been the most important period of the last two thousand years – if not all recorded history – the apex and beginning of the decline of the greatest military and political power the world has ever known."
Spartacus provides the film's gladiatorial motif, as well as the character of Senator Gracchus, a fictitious senator (bearing the name of a pair of revolutionary Tribunes from the 2nd century BC) who in both films is an elder statesman of ancient Rome attempting to preserve the ancient rights of the Roman Senate in the face of an ambitious autocrat –Marcus Licinius Crassus in Spartacus and Commodus in Gladiator. Both actors who played Gracchus (in Spartacus and Gladiator), played Claudius in previous films – Charles Laughton of Spartacus played Claudius in the unfinished 1937 film I, Claudius and Sir Derek Jacobi of Gladiator, played Claudius in the 1976 BBC adaptation. Both films also share a specific set piece, wherein a gladiator (Maximus here, Woody Strode's Draba in Spartacus) throws his weapon into a spectator box at the end of a match, as well as at least one line of dialogue: "Rome is the mob", said here by Gracchus and by Julius Caesar (John Gavin) in Spartacus.
The film's depiction of Commodus' entry into Rome borrows imagery from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1934), although Ridley Scott has pointed out that the iconography of Nazi rallies was of course inspired by the Roman Empire. Gladiator reflects back on the film by duplicating similar events that occurred in Adolf Hitler's procession. The Nazi film opens with an aerial view of Hitler arriving in a plane, while Scott shows an aerial view of Rome, quickly followed by a shot of the large crowd of people watching Commodus pass them in a procession with his chariot. The first thing to appear in Triumph of the Will is a Nazi eagle, which is alluded to when a statue of an eagle sits atop one of the arches (and then is shortly followed by several more decorative eagles throughout the rest of the scene) leading up to the procession of Commodus. At one point in the Nazi film, a little girl gives flowers to Hitler, while Commodus is met by several girls who all give him bundles of flowers.
A clip from the score of the 2000 film Gladiator.
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listen to a clip from the score of Gladiator.
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The Oscar-nominated score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, and conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Zimmer was originally planning to use Israeli vocalist Ofra Haza for the score, after his work with her in The Prince of Egypt. However, Ofra tragically died in her early 40's in late February 2000, before she was able to record anything, and so Gerrard was chosen instead. Lisa Gerrard's vocals are similar to her own work on The Insider score. The music for many of the battle scenes has been noted as similar to Gustav Holst's "Mars: The Bringer of War", and in June 2006, the Holst Foundation sued Hans Zimmer for allegedly copying the late Gustav Holst's work. Another close musical resemblance occurs in the scene of Commodus's triumphal entry into Rome, accompanied by music clearly evocative of two sections – the Prelude to Das Rheingold and Siegfried's Funeral March from Götterdämmerung – from Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs. The "German" war chant in the opening scene was borrowed from the 1964 film Zulu, one of Ridley Scott's favorite movies. On February 27, 2001, nearly a year after the first soundtrack's release, Decca produced Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture. Then, on September 5, 2005, Decca produced Gladiator: Special Anniversary Edition, a two-CD pack containing both the above mentioned releases. Some of the music from the film was featured in the NFL playoffs in January 2003 before commercial breaks and before and after half-time. In 2003, Luciano Pavarotti released a recording of himself singing a song from the film and said he regretted turning down an offer to perform on the soundtrack. The soundtrack is one of the best selling film scores of all time.
Gladiator received positive reviews, with 78% of the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes giving it favorable reviews, with an averaged score of 7 out of 10. At the website Metacritic, which employs a normalized rating system, the film earned a favorable rating of 64/100 based on 37 reviews by mainstream critics. The Battle of Germania was cited by CNN as one of their "favorite on-screen battle scenes", while Entertainment Weekly named Maximus as their sixth favorite action hero, because of "Crowe's steely, soulful performance", and named it as their third favorite revenge film. In 2002, a Channel 4 (UK TV) poll named it as the sixth greatest film of all time. Paul Ashbourne, an established movie critic, gave the movie three thumbs up, naming it as his favorite movie of all time. In an online review, Ashbourne stated it has a solid story plot with effects which transport us back to ancient Roman times. He admits to have viewed the film over seventy times. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "Are you not entertained?"
It was not without its deriders, with Roger Ebert in particular harshly criticizing the look of the film as "muddy, fuzzy, and indistinct." He also derided the writing claiming it "employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are."
The film earned US$ 34.83 million on its opening weekend at 2,938 U.S. theaters. Within two weeks, the film's box office gross surpassed its US $103 million budget. The film continued on to become one of the highest earning films of 2000 and made a worldwide box office gross of US$ 457,640,427, with over US$ 187 million in American theaters and more than the equivalent of US$ 269 million in non-US markets.
The film won five Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional seven, including Best Supporting Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Director for Ridley Scott. There was controversy over the film's nomination for Best Original Music Score. The award was officially nominated only to Hans Zimmer, and not to Lisa Gerrard due to Academy rules. However, the pair did win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score as co-composers.
- 73rd Academy Awards
- BAFTA Awards
- Best Cinematography
- Best Editing
- Best Film
- Best Production Design
- 58th Golden Globe Awards
- Best Motion Picture – Drama
- Best Original Score – Motion Picture
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
- General Maximus Decimus Meridus – #50 Hero
- Emperor Commodus – Nominated Villain
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "Father to a murdered son. Husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." – Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 – Nominated Epic Film
The film's mainstream success is responsible for an increased interest in Roman and classical history in the United States. According to The New York Times, this has been dubbed the "Gladiator Effect".
It's called the 'Gladiator' effect by writers and publishers. The snob in us likes to believe that it is always books that spin off movies. Yet in this case, it's the movies – most recently Gladiator two years ago – that have created the interest in the ancients. And not for more Roman screen colossals, but for writing that is serious or fun or both."
The Cicero biography Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician and Gregory Hays' translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations received large spikes in sales after the release of the film. The film also began a revival of the historical epic genre with films such as Troy, King Arthur, Alexander, 300, Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood (the last two were also directed by Scott). The character of Maximus was placed 12th in the Total Film list of 50 best movie heroes and villains and 35th in the Empire's 100 Greatest Movie Characters. Maximus is also featured on 55c "Australian Legends" postage stamp series. Russell Crowe attended an associated ceremony to mark the creation of the stamps.
 Home media release
The film was first released on DVD on November 20, 2000, and has since been released in several different extended and special edition versions. Special features for the Blu-ray Disc and DVDs include deleted scenes, trailers, documentaries, commentaries, storyboards, image galleries, easter eggs, and cast auditions. The film was released on Blu-ray in September 2009, in a 2-disc edition containing both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film, as part of Paramount's "Sapphire Series" (Paramount bought the DreamWorks library in 2006). Initial reviews of the Blu-ray Disc release criticized poor image quality, leading many to call for it to be remastered, as Sony did with The Fifth Element in 2007. A remastered version was later released in 2010.
The DVD editions that have been released since the original two-disc version, include a film only single-disc edition as well as a three-disc "extended edition" DVD which was released in August 2005. The extended edition DVD features approximately fifteen minutes of additional scenes, most of which appear in the previous release as deleted scenes. The original cut, which Scott still calls his director's cut, is also selectable via seamless branching (which is not included on the UK edition). The DVD is also notable for having a new commentary track featuring director Scott and star Crowe. The film is on the first disc, the second one has a three-hour documentary into the making of the film by DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, and the third disc contains supplements. Discs one and two of the three-disc extended edition were also repackaged and sold as a two-disc "special edition" in the EU in 2005.
In June 2001, Douglas Wick said a Gladiator prequel was in development. The following year, Wick, Walter Parkes, David Franzoni, and John Logan switched direction to a sequel set fifteen years later; the Praetorian Guards rule Rome and an older Lucius is trying to learn who his real father was. However, Russell Crowe was interested in resurrecting Maximus, and further researched Roman beliefs about the afterlife to accomplish this. Ridley Scott expressed interest, although he admitted the project would have to be retitled as it had little to do with gladiators. An easter egg contained on disc 2 of the extended edition / special edition DVD releases includes a discussion of possible scenarios for a follow-up. This includes a suggestion by Walter F. Parkes that, in order to enable Russell Crowe to return to play Maximus, who dies at the end of the original movie, a sequel could involve a "multi-generational drama about Maximus and the Aureleans and this chapter of Rome", similar in concept to The Godfather Part II.
In 2006, Scott stated he and Crowe approached Nick Cave to rewrite the film, but they had conflicted with DreamWorks's idea of a Lucius spin-off, who Scott revealed would turn out to be Maximus' son with Lucilla. He noted this tale of corruption in Rome was too complex, whereas Gladiator worked due to its simple drive. In 2009, details of Cave's ultimately rejected script surfaced on the internet, suggesting that Maximus would be reincarnated by the Roman gods and returned to Rome to defend Christians against persecution; he would then be transported to other important periods in history, including World War II, the Vietnam War, and finally playing a role in the modern-day Pentagon.
 See also
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- Sale, Martha Lair; Paula Diane Parker (2005) (PDF), Losing Like Forrest Gump: Winners and Losers in the Film Industry, http://www.sbaer.uca.edu/research/allied/2005vegas/acctg%20&%20fina%20studies/30.pdf, retrieved 2007-02-19
- Schwartz, Richard (2002), The Films of Ridley Scott, Westport, CT: Praeger, p. 141, ISBN 0-275-96976-2
- Script of the movie
- Stax (April 4, 2002), The Stax Report's Five Scribes Edition, IGN, http://movies.ign.com/articles/356/356712p1.html, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Jon Solomon (April 1, 2004), "Gladiator from Screenplay to Screen", in Martin M. Winkler, Gladiator: Film and History, Blackwell Publishing, p. 3
- Landau 2000, p. 22
- Tales of the Scribes: Story Development (DVD). Universal. 2005.
- John Soriano (2001) (PDF), WGA.ORG's Exclusive Interview with David Franzoni, archived from the original on 2007-12-03, http://web.archive.org/web/20071203172028/http://www.sois.uwm.edu/xie/dl/Movie+Project+Team+Folder/Movie+Project+Team+Folder/Writers/David+Frazoni-+Gladiator.pdf, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Corliss, Richard; Jeffrey Ressner (May 8, 2000), The Empire Strikes Back, Time, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996847-2,00.html, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Bill Nicholson’s Speech at the launch of the International Screenwriters' Festival, January 30, 2006, archived from the original on May 17, 2008, http://web.archive.org/web/20080517065030/http://www.screenwritersfestival.com/news.php?id=3, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Landau 2000, p. 34
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- Bankston, Douglas (May 2000), "Death or Glory", American Cinematographer (American Society of Cinematographers), http://www.ascmag.com/magazine/may00/pg1.htm
- Landau 2000, p. 63
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- Gory glory in the Colosseum, Kodak: In Camera, July 2000, archived from the original on 2005-02-09, http://web.archive.org/web/20050209185727/http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/inCamera/july2000/gladiator.shtml, retrieved February 27, 2009
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- Bath, Matthew (October 25, 2004), The Mill, Digit Magazine, http://www.digitmag.co.uk/features/index.cfm?featureID=1152&page=1&pagepos=3, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Landau, Diana; Walter Parkes, John Logan, & Ridley Scott (2000), Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic, Newmarket Press, p. 89, ISBN 1-55704-428-7
- Landau 2000, p. 122
- Landau 2000, p. 123
- Oliver Reed Resurrected On Screen, Internet Movie Database, April 12, 2000, http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2000-04-12#celeb4, retrieved February 27, 2009
- Schwartz, p.142
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 Further reading
- Reynolds, Mike (July 2000), "Ridley Scott: From Blade Runner to Blade Stunner", DGA Monthly Magazine (Directors Guild of America)
- Schwartz, Richard (2001). The Films of Ridley Scott. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-96976-2
- Stephens, William (2001), "The Rebirth of Stoicism?", Creighton Magazine, http://puffin.creighton.edu/PHIL/Stephens/rebirth_of_stoicism.htm, retrieved 2010-01-04
- Ward, Allen (2001), "The Movie "Gladiator" in Historical Perspective", Classics Technology Center (AbleMedia), http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/showcase/wardgladiator1.html, retrieved 2007-01-26
- Winkler, Martin (2004). Gladiator Film and History. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-1042-2
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Gladiator (2000 film)|
- Gladiator at the Internet Movie Database
- Gladiator at AllRovi
- Gladiator at Box Office Mojo
- Gladiator at Rotten Tomatoes
- Gladiator at Metacritic
- David Franzoni (1998-04-04), Gladiator: First Draft Revised, archived from the original on 2008-03-16, http://web.archive.org/web/20080316123637/http://www.hundland.com/scripts/Gladiator_FirstDraft.txt
- David Franzoni and John Logan (1998-10-22), Gladiator: Second Draft Revised, archived from the original on 2008-03-12, http://web.archive.org/web/20080312054408/http://www.hundland.com/scripts/Gladiator_SecondDraft.txt