Gladiator (2000 film)

Gladiator (2000 film)
A man standing at the center of the image is wearing armor and is holding a sword in his right hand. In the background is the top of the Colosseum with a barely visible crowd standing in it. The poster includes the film's title, cast credits, and release date.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Douglas Wick
David Franzoni
Branko Lustig
Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by David Franzoni
John Logan
William Nicholson
Story by David Franzoni
Starring Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen
Oliver Reed
Derek Jacobi
Djimon Hounsou
Ralf Möller
Richard Harris
Music by Lisa Gerrard
Hans Zimmer
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Pietro Scalia
Studio Scott Free Productions
Red Wagon Entertainment[1]
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures (United States)
Universal Pictures (international)
Release date(s) May 1, 2000 (2000-05-01) (Los Angeles)
May 5, 2000 (2000-05-05) (United States)
May 12, 2000 (2000-05-12) (United Kingdom)
Running time 155 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $103 million[2][3]
Box office $457,640,427

Gladiator (pronounced: [glaːdiatọɾ]) is a 2000 historical epic 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 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 briefly reviving the historical epic. The film was nominated for and won multiple awards, particularly five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture. Although there have been talks of both a prequel and sequel, as of 2011, no production has begun.



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 has a son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the dying emperor wishes to grant temporary leadership to Maximus hoping eventually to return power to the Roman Senate. After being told by his father that Maximus will be taking his place as the next emperor , Commodus, already bitter that Marcus favors Maximus over him, secretly murders his father in a fit of rage and claims the throne.

Maximus realizes the truth about Commodus' patricide but is betrayed by his friend, General Quintus (Tomas Arana), who reluctantly instructs the Praetorian guards to carry out Commodus' order to execute Maximus and his wife (Giannina Facio) and son (Giorgio Cantarini). Maximus manages to escape, and races home only to find he was too late 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 gladiator manager Proximo (Oliver Reed), and forced to fight for his life as a gladiator in arena tournaments. During this time, he befriends gladiators Juba (Djimon Hounsou), and Hagen (Ralf Möeller). Juba encourages Maximus to have faith that he will be reunited with his family in the afterlife.

Maximus gains notoriety through his impressive victories as a gladiator, ultimately reaching the prestigious Roman Colosseum, where his group is contracted to fight in a tribute to the Battle of Carthage. 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 appeases them by doing so. Maximus later manages to win 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 him without making him a martyr.

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 using veiled threats against her young son Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark). During Maximus's 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 Cicero, being held as bait by the guards, is killed and Maximus is captured.

Now desperate to have Maximus killed, Commodus arranges a duel with him in the arena. Unknown to the crowd, Commodus stabs a restrained Maximus with a stiletto before they enter the arena. In the fight, when Maximus manages to disarm Commodus, Quintus disobeys the emperor's demand for a sword from the guards. 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 sees a vision of himself and his family reuniting in the afterlife, Maximus dies from his wound. 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, turned 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[4] in today's Province of Cáceres, Spain. 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 was also considered.
  • Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus: the main antagonist of the film. An emotionally wounded young man who is jealous of and despises Maximus because his father Marcus Aurelius favours the General over him. He becomes the emperor of Rome upon his father's death.
  • Connie Nielsen as Lucilla: Maximus's former lover and the older child of Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla has been recently widowed. She tries to resist the incestuous lust of her brother 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 during their shared hardships.
  • Oliver Reed as Antonius Proximo: an old and 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 production.
  • Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus: one of the senators who opposes Commodus's leadership.
  • Ralf Möeller 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.
  • Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius: an emperor of Rome who appoints Maximus, whom he dotes on as a son, which later leads to his undoing, to return Rome to a republican form of government but is murdered by his son Commodus before his wish is fulfilled.
  • Tommy Flanagan as Cicero: a Roman soldier and a friend of Maximus who provides him with information while Maximus is enslaved.
  • Tomas Arana as General Quintus: another Roman general and former friend to Maximus. Made commander of the Praetorian guards by Commodus, earning his loyalty. 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. Helps Commodus consolidate his power.
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen as Tigris of Gaul: an undefeated gladiator who is called out of retirement to duel Maximus.
  • David Hemmings as Cassius: An elderly fat man runs the gladiatorial games in the Colosseum and is the arena announcer.
  • Giannina Facio, Maximus's wife.
  • Giorgio Cantarini, Maximus's son.



Gladiator was based on an original pitch by David Franzoni, who wrote the first draft.[5] 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 Casius Dio, strangled Emperor Commodus to death.[6]

Several dead men and various scattered weapons are located in a large arena. Near the center of the image is a man wearing armor standing in the middle of an arena looking up at a large crowd. The man has his right foot on the throat of an injured man who is reaching towards the crowd. Members of the crowd are indicating a "thumbs down" gesture. The arena is adorned with marble, columns, flags, and statues.
Pollice Verso (Thumbs Down) by Jean-Léon Gérôme—the 19th century painting that inspired Ridley Scott to tackle the project.

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).[7] 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.[8]

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."[8] 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.[9] Franzoni later shared the Academy Award for Best Picture with producers Douglas Wick and Branko Lustig.[5]

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."[10] 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."[11]


In preparation for filming, Scott spent several months developing storyboards to develop the framework of the plot.[12] 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.[13] All of the film's props, sets, and costumes were manufactured by crew members due to high costs and unavailability of the items.[14]


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.[15] 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.[16] 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).[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] Finally, the scenes of Ancient Rome were shot over a period of nineteen weeks in Fort Ricasoli, Malta.[20][21]

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).[22] The replica took several months to build and cost an estimated $1 million.[23] 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.[20] 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.[24]


Several men in white robes are facing away from the image, at the top of large steps. A man is at the center of the image being handed flowers by a girl. In the background are rows of thousands of soldiers and members of a large crowd. In the distance, the Colosseum can be seen along with other buildings in Rome. Dark clouds are visible in the sky.
Several scenes included extensive use of CGI shots for views of Rome

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.[25] 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.[24] The Mill ended up creating over 90 visual effects shots, comprising approximately nine minutes of the film's running time.[26]

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[24] 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.[27][28] 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."[27] The film is dedicated to Reed's memory.[29]

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 and to that end hired several historians as advisors. Nevertheless, some deviations from historical fact were made to increase interest, some to maintain narrative continuity, and some were for practical or safety reasons. The public perception of what ancient Rome was like, due to previous Hollywood movies, made some historical facts, according to Scott, "too unbelievable" to include. 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".[30][31]

Marcus Aurelius died of plague at Vindobona and was not murdered by his son Commodus. The character of Maximus is fictional, although in some respects he resembles the historical figures of Narcissus (the character's name in the first draft of the screenplay and the real killer of Commodus),[32] Spartacus (who led a significant slave revolt), Cincinnatus (a farmer who became dictator, saved Rome from invasion, then resigned his 6-month appointment after fifteen days),[33][34][35] and Marcus Nonius Macrinus (a trusted general, Consul of AD 154, and friend of Marcus Aurelius).[36][37] 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,[38] and was practically a shot-for-shot remake of The Fall of the Roman Empire, which tells the story of Livius, who, like Maximus in Gladiator, is Marcus Aurelius's 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's 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's 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."[39]

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 1937 film I, Claudius and Sir Derek Jacobi of Gladiator, played Claudius in the 1975 BBC adaptation. Both films also share a specific set piece, where 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's 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.[40] 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 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 with several girls that all give him bundles of flowers.[41]


The Oscar-nominated score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, and conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Lisa Gerrard's vocals are similar to her own work on The Insider score.[42] 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.[43][44] 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.[45] 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.[46] The Soundtrack is one of the best selling film scores of all time, and also among the most popular.


Gladiator received positive reviews, with 78% of the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes giving it favorable reviews.[47] 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.[48] The Battle of Germania was cited by CNN as one of their "favorite on-screen battle scenes",[49] while Entertainment Weekly named Maximus as their sixth favorite action hero, because of "Crowe's steely, soulful performance",[50] and named it as their third favorite revenge film.[51] In 2002, a Channel 4 (UK TV) poll named it as the sixth greatest film of all time.[52] 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?"[53]

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."[54]

The film earned US$ 34.83 million on its opening weekend at 2,938 U.S. theaters.[55] Within two weeks, the film's box office gross surpassed its US$ 103 million budget.[2] 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.[56]


Gladiator was nominated in 36 individual ceremonies, including the 73rd Academy Awards, the BAFTA Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards. Of 119 award nominations, the film won 48 prizes.[57]

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[citation needed] 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.

  • BAFTA Awards
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Editing
    • Best Film
    • Best Production Design


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."[58]

Sales of 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.[58] The film also began a revival of the historical epic genre with films such as Troy, Alexander, King Arthur, Kingdom of Heaven, and 300.[59] The character of Maximus was placed 12th in the Total Film list of 50 best movie heroes and villains[60] and 35th in the Empire's 100 Greatest Movie Characters.[61] Maximus is also featured on 55c "Australian Legends" postage stamp series.[62] Russell Crowe attended an associated ceremony to mark the creation of the stamps.[62]

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).[63] 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.[64] 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.[65] The following year, Wick, Walter Parkes, David Franzoni, and John Logan switched direction to a sequel set fifteen years later;[66] 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.[67] Ridley Scott expressed interest, although he admitted the project would have to be retitled as it had little to do with gladiators.[68] 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.[69] 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, finally playing a role in the modern-day Pentagon.[70][71]

See also


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  3. ^ Schwartz, Richard (2002), The Films of Ridley Scott, Westport, CT: Praeger, p. 141, ISBN 0275969762 
  4. ^ Script of the movie
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  8. ^ a b Tales of the Scribes: Story Development (DVD). Universal. 2005. 
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  14. ^ Landau 2000, p. 66
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  17. ^ Bankston, Douglas (May 2000), "Death or Glory", American Cinematographer (American Society of Cinematographers), 
  18. ^ Landau 2000, p. 63
  19. ^ Landau 2000, p. 73
  20. ^ a b Gory glory in the Colosseum, Kodak: In Camera, July 2000, archived from the original on 2005-02-09,, retrieved February 27, 2009 
  21. ^ Malta Film Commission - Backlots, Malta Film Commission,, retrieved 28 August 2009 
  22. ^ Landau 2000, p. 89
  23. ^ Winkler, p.130
  24. ^ a b c Bath, Matthew (October 25, 2004), The Mill, Digit Magazine,, retrieved February 27, 2009 
  25. ^ Landau, Diana; Walter Parkes, John Logan, & Ridley Scott (2000), Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic, Newmarket Press, p. 89, ISBN 1557044287 
  26. ^ Landau 2000, p. 122
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  • Landau, Diana; Walter Parkes, John Logan, and Ridley Scott (2000), Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic, Newmarket Press, ISBN 1-5570-4428-7 

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