Gladiator 2 Script Review

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Gladiator Sequel

Screenplay by Nick Cave (The Proposition).

Trivia:
Russell Crowe to Empire (AU): “At first I was very cynical about that notion [of a Gladiator sequel], but I’ve come around on it. We’ve had other ideas too, where we step off into the metaphysical and you actually acknowledge the fact that Maximus is dead [laughs], but that is a hard script to write. Nick Cave actually wrote a draft for me and Ridley [Scott] at one point. He’s an excellent writer, man. Nick did this draft and Ridley and I considered it for a while.”

In a nutshell:
One of the most amazing, out-of-left-field screenplays I have ever read.

Detailed Synopsis:
EXT. Dark Wilderness, a storm rages. We follow two thieves as they stumble across the body of a Gladiator lying in the mud. They strip it of its armor and weaponry. One of the men suddenly goes silent; a large spear is embedded in his spine. As the other man flees, he turns to see the dead Gladiator rising:

It is MAXIMUS…gasping for air, frantic and disoriented.

A middle-aged man steps out of the shadows to assist. He introduces himself as MOREDECAI. He says that he’s been waiting for Maximus to arrive since watching him die in the Coliseum yesterday. Maximus says that he has no time for riddles. Mordecai responds that he has all eternity.

Cut to: Maximus makes his way through a wheat field, his wife and son (MARIA and MARIUS) stand beneath a giant poplar in the distance. A storm hits, heavy rain obscuring his vision. A fantastic bolt of lightning strikes the poplar. He violently awakens. Mordecai approaches and explains that there is something he needs to show him.

As they walk, Maximus stresses that he must locate his family. Mordecai tells him that there are those who search and those have given up the search. Over eternity, the former eventually become the latter. They approach the edge of a cliff…

Beneath them in the valley: an encampment bordering a pitch-black sea, filled with the infinite numbers of the damned, stretching endlessly to eternity. They descend.

While making their way through the camp, Mordecai breaks up a fight between two women. He’s something of a peacekeeper here. In return for his services, the Gods allow him to return to Rome (in spectral form) for brief visits. In the midst of their conversation, the crowd explodes with excitement. In the distance: a lone man glides along the darkened sea on a small boat. Thousands pour into the water shouting “Elysium!” as the boat disappears into the fog. Mordecai pronounces them fools for believing there is any escape.

The two make their way to a massive, ruined temple near the encampment. Maximus enters and finds the Roman Gods (Jupiter, Apollo, Pluto, Neptune, Mars, Mercury, and Bacchus) who mock his predicament. Still, they offer a deal: their brother, Hephaestos, has run off to the desert filled with bad ideas. He is gathering apostates/fanatics and slowly amassing a power greater than their own. As a result, they’ve aged…grown weak and diseased. They want Maximus to seek out Hephaestos and kill him. In exchange, they will reunite him with his family. Maximus bolts out of the temple without saying a word.

Mordecai warns him that the Gods are lying. He can not be reunited with his wife because she sacrificed her place in Elysium to allow their son to cheat death. Marius was resurrected and returned to Earth (specifically Rome) where he lives out his days. As for Maria…she could be anywhere in the netherworld, but will never be found.

Maximus refuses to listen and heads off. In the desert, he has a vision of his wife. He gives chase as she leads him to a bloodied, dying stag entangled in brambles. He attempts to free it, but the animal’s wounds are too severe. Maria’s voice pleads “help us” as the stag takes its final breath and dies in his arms.

Maximus locates Hephaestos’ camp to find it completely abandoned, save for the man himself. Left for dead by his followers, Hephaestos explains that the masses have lost faith in the Roman Gods. As result, they’re dying. There is only one true God and their time has rightfully passed. Maximus asks about his son. Hephaestos stresses that he is in great danger and needs his father’s assistance. As they lock eyes, the Gladiator is transported…

…back to the world of the living. Maximus rises out of the body of a dying Christian is the midst of a massacre in Lyons. It’s a mob scene, dozens of Christians being beaten/hacked to death by The Emperor’s forces. Seeing an elderly Bishop on the verge of being slaughtered, Maximus grabs a weapon and beings hacking away at the attackers. He’s overwhelmed by the crowd and restrained. Before the killing blow is delivered: an unseen voice orders a stay. 25-year-old LUCIUS (Connie Nielson’s son from the original) approaches. Lucius asks the rebel his name…he has seen him before. Maximus does not answer, but pleads for the Bishop’s life to be spared. Lucius responds by nonchalantly decapitating the old man. He orders the guards to kill Maximus, but he manages to escape.

Down the road, he encounters two men (PETER and MARCUS) who ask for his help. He follows them to a sanctuary where their leader (IRENAEUS) gives Maximus a brief history of their predicament: Lucius and the Emperor seek to put down Christianity…to wipe it from the world. The Christians need help in alerting their Rome-based leader (a schoolteacher named CASSIAN) that the Empire is on the verge of locating him. Maximus refuses and heads off in search of his son.

Along the path to the city, he finds a family of butchered Christians. He’s approached by the ghost of Mordecai who explains that his failure to kill Hephaestos has resulted in permanent banishment to Earth. Maximus seems unconcerned by this. After arriving in Rome, he checks into an inn where several folks seem to recognize him…

At the palace, Emperor DECIUS scolds Lucius regarding his bloodthirsty methods. Lucius defends himself by explaining that (in his mind) their empire is dying. Plague, famine, earthquakes, the great granaries of Rome destroyed by inundations…all result from the anger of the Gods. The Christians mock their divinity and must be destroyed. Their leader must be found. The Emperor reveals that a census is being taken. Anyone who is Christian will be arrested and be provided with an opportunity to recant. If not, they will be put to death in the Coliseum in a spectacular fashion. “The people will be entertained”.

Meanwhile, a large gathering of Roman Christians discuss aforementioned census. Several propose standing up and fighting back. Maximus enters: tells them its suicide. They ask who he is; he responds that he was once a Roman soldier. One of the men steps forward: “You served the devil himself”. It is MARIUS, who proposes killing the intruder. They share some heated words before the gathering is broken up. Maximus rages to Mordecai that his own son does not recognize him.

We find Lucius walking the halls of the palace. He passes the bust of certain famous Roman General and halts in his tracks. A haunted look crosses his face.

Maximus locates the Christian leader, Cassian and offers his help. Cassian apologizes for the actions of his student, Marius, last night. His adopted son has a hot temper on occasion. He relates a tale of how he found Marius alone in a sick ward as a little boy, no parents to speak of.

Maximus heads back to the inn to find a pack of groupies. “He walks!” they exclaim. One of the gathered is JUBA (Djimon Hounsou’s character). They embrace, drink and catch up…Juba listens, dumbfounded. He presents Maximus with a gift: the totemic figurines of Marius and Maria buried at the end of the first film. He recently retrieved them after learning that the Emperor will be flooding the Coliseum for a match involving alligators. Maximus thanks him. We cut to Lucius torturing a family to uncover Cassian’s identity.

The next morning: Marius walks through the city. He’s confronted by two young men who mock his faith. As the confrontation turns physical, Maximus steps from the shadows and beats the attackers to a pulp. Father and son have a nice conversation in which Marius compares Maximus to the Apostle Paul: a violent man who converted after hearing Christ’s voice, becoming God’s chosen instrument. The two speak of their families: Marius discusses his birth father’s constant absence. Maximus describes the pain of leaving his wife and child, particularly his son…Marius.

Marius arrives at school just in time to see Lucius and his men enter. They announce their intent to arrest the Christian leader. Seeing a fish necklace on Cassian, Lucius rips it away and delivers a nice bit of dialogue:

LUCIUS
You are students, are you not? Scholars? Learned young men? Then, answer me this: Does Rome stand deep-fixed and deathless as in the time of the great Caesars? No. I think not. Does she prowl the world, hungry and fearless and all-power? Again…I think not. Do the Gods sit mighty and well-pleased in the Heavens and bestow on her, her just rewards? No and again, no…I think not. Rome weeps and this little fish swims in her tears. A fish…a little fish…hidden around an old man’s neck. The earthquakes that have ripped this mighty empire asunder…charge this little fish. The infernal plagues and disease? The hellish pestilence that ravages our land? Charge this little fish… The diabolical rage of the Gods? I say again…CHARGE THIS FISH. And charge the one that wears it! The man here spits n the eyes of the gods themselves! He is the enemy of us all!

Lucius stabs Cassian to death . Marius escapes and heads directly for Maximus, asking for his help in creating an army. Several short training/recruitment scenes follow. Later, Maximus and Lucius have a brief face to face meeting (short excerpt follows):

LUCIUS
Forgive me, Maximus, but I am confused…about many things. As a boy…as a little boy…I watched a Roman General who became a gladiator bring down the very heavens upon his foes. When he died, I stood by my other and we wept, and all of Rome wept with us. He was a solider…a great warrior. Yet, he stands before me now. How can this be?

MAXIMUS
Do not despair. You will see the heavens some tumbling down again.

We cut to The Coliseum, teeming with thousands of cheering Romans. The grounds are completely flooded with several ships battling hundreds of alligators with fireballs and arrows (note: did Cave ask Michael Bay for guidance on this?) Lucius speaks with the Decius and informs him that the Christians are forming an army under a resurrected Maximus. The Emperor gives permission to crush them.

Maximus’ army heads for the forest. Father and son share a brief conversation: the truth of their relationship is unspoken, but seemingly recognized by both.

Lucius and an army of hundreds approach. A massive battle ensues. Lucius kills Juba. Enraged, Maximus cuts Lucius to pieces. As readies to deliver the killing stroke, Lucius drops his sword and seems to accept his fate: “Only at your hands, Maximus”. An arrow then explodes through Lucius’ neck, fired by Marius. A storm hits, the heavens explode with rage. Marius falls to knees and bellows: “Oh lord what have we done?” Maximus kneels as well, rubs dirt between his fingers.

We intercut the following with shots of the dying stag from earlier in the film:
– Middle Eastern Battlefield: Maximus stands surrounded by hundreds of Crusaders as they battle a Muslim army. Everyone dies around him, only Maximus remains untouched.
– Europe: Maximus battles tanks in World War 2.
– Vietnam: Maximus battles Vietcong with a flamethrower.
– The Pentagon, Present Day: Maximus washing his hands in a men’s room sink. He stars at himself in the mirror…reflecting. Mordecai stands behind him…whispers: “Until eternity itself has said it’s prayers.” Maximus exits; proceeds into a large war room containing a dozen men in suits.
– The edge of a black hole: Maximus commands a futuristic, 3-story tall space suit. The machine’s giant titanium claws grip the side of a planet-size starship. Maximus leans back, kicks off the hull and simultaneously opens fire on 10,000 amorphic creatures as they bear down on him. (ok, I made that last one up)

Fade to black.

What works:
After being prepared to write this off as some sort of misguided oddity, I’m surprised to say this is an absolutely exceptional script.

Once the initial “what the f**k am I reading?!” wore off, I really came to savor everything about it. Cave’s writing, the storyline, the dialogue…it’s Grade-A material through and through.

While there are DEEP, CRITICAL flaws with this as a sequel, nearly every problem I have with the story could be corrected by spinning it off as something stand-alone.

- Despite a sense that Maximus’ journey in this film repeats many of the same beats of the original: he’s still written to perfection. It’s very easy to imagine Crowe scoring another Oscar with what Cave gave him to work with.

- The idea of a damned Maximus paying for his transgressions against the Gods by serving as an eternal warrior is fantastic stuff. The final scene is particularly heartbreaking. It also opens things up for more sequels (kidding).

- From Cave’s descriptions of the vast netherworld to a highly-ambitious, crocodile-packed battle sequence: Ridley Scott would have had a blast shooting this.

What doesn’t work:
-This is not a reflection on the quality of the piece, but I’m not really interested in seeing a sequel to Gladiator featuring elements of mythology and the supernatural. They weren’t present in the first film and they simply feel out of place here.

It’s like making an action-packed follow-up to Schindler’s List with a cryogenically-frozen Liam Neeson helping to save a doomed alien species 10,000 years in the future. Sure, there might be an interesting story there…but it doesn’t make sense given the pre-established universe.

-The script renders most of the original film moot. Maximus’ struggles, quest for vengeance and ultimate (if hollow) victory were for nothing. It’s an Alien 3 redux. The idea of JUBA digging up the “graves” of Maximus’ wife and child seems to be a (deliberate?) metaphor for the sequel. The poignancy of the original’s ending is essentially desecrated.

- While I enjoyed Lucius’ dialogue, he’s essentially a carbon copy of Joaquin Phoenix’s character. He needs an identity of his own.

- To cut down on the sheer number of resurrections, I would have let Marius rest in peace, created a new villain and swapped Lucius in as a surrogate son for Maximus.

- Marius is a little underwritten. Outside his mysterious past and relationship with Maximus, there’s not much to him.

- Battle scenes seem a bit underwritten (example: the climax is literally 2-3 paragraphs in the script) although I attribute that more to this being a first draft than anything else. I’m sure they would have been more fleshed out in future revisions.

In a nutshell:
So wrong, yet so right. I love it as a standalone screenplay but hate it as a sequel to Gladiator.

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63 responses »

  1. On Saturday, Svaran said:

    IMHO it’s a terrible and reads like one of those tacky italian epics of the 60s and 70s.

    Maximus’s death and the scene of he reuniting with his family in the afterlife has a emotional finality about it, that this script undoes.

    If anything they should have done a sequel about Juba and his journey home to find his family Maximus could appear as ghostly mentor helping him in times of need.

    On his journey Juba carves two small statues similar to what Maximus did. On his journey he becomes embroiled in a battle to save a group of christians that are terrorised by pagans, he then helps a woman find her faith when all would appear lost by finding her son and rescuing her husband from tyrannical roman overlord, finally he makes it home and finds his village under attack and that his wife and son has been captured as slaves by local bandit warlord.

    Along the way he is joint by motley assorment of ex-soldiers who know him by reputation and are looking for a place to settle.

    With the aid of these men he rescues his wife and son free’s his village.

    The final scene could have been Juba reuniting with his family after a journey fraught with danger and battle with Juba giving his family the 2 statues and as he looks into the distance he sees a ghostly Maximus smiling in satisfaction that he has found his family and voicing his satisfaction he then fades away.

    And as he does Juba says ” good bye my friend and thank you”

    Cue the credits.

    How hard was that? I dreamt that synopsis up as I’m writing this. Of course it has a nod to the odessey, the magnificent 7 and to gladiator itself but WTF!

  2. Then Nick said:

    All due respect to Djimon Hounsou, who is a great actor and deserves proper starring roles, but he will never open a film like Russell Crowe.

  3. There are more:

    Friday:
    James

    Welcome Dark Horizons readers!

    Nick

    Again?
    We really should get some google-ads for the blog so we can afford a donut for the office party.

    Ducker

    In a nutshell: I like the plot, it seems to me something like Homer´s Oddisey meets Dante´s Divine Comedy with a bit of Jumper for flavor.

  4. I’d LOVE to see more of the Gladiator but I couldn’t even finish reading this! Just too far out there and much too convoluted. IF it was ever done, I think it would appeal to a very small number of people. Certainly nothing like Gladiator! Perhaps there’s some hope for it but it would take a LOT of work.

  5. As the author of the Gladiator sequel praised by “Roe” several posts above this, I thank him/her for the kind words and have to agree, even if I did write it myself. I have no idea why Nick Cave’s story was so far-fetched and complex – but he has a vivid imagination apparently. Almost as vivid as mine!
    Wildbearies

  6. Hi,
    is it a joke? (This new script I mean)…
    I am sorry, but I think have read many better Gladiator fan-fic.
    I’d love to see a sequel of Gladiator but this is a sort of bad written Divine Comedy, mixed with a pseudo futuristic puzzle, not matching the real spirit of the character Maximus.
    No, No, please. I cannot believe that a divine director of the caliber of Sir Ridley Scott and a most excellent actor like Russell could ever accept to do a film from this not very well written script tentative.

    Strengths and Honour

    Sabry

  7. gladiator is the ever and forever the best movie in this earth
    i hope that they continou in the same rythm like the first 1
    russel crowe is the best man for this type of movies
    make as dream again … make another gladiator with russel crowe … make another film about rome or carthage … with russel crowe

  8. I wouldn’t consider it the best movie ever, but it’s a solid film.

    At this point, I don’t think it’s likely we’ll see a Gladiator sequel at all, much less with Crowe.

  9. NO NO NO NO, what the hell is this? No more gladiator films should be made! EVER, it is without dout the best film ever and to milk more money out of it would be an absolute discrace!

  10. They were foolish (or at least lacking in insight) in that they didn’t grasp how popular the movie would be, with Crowe in particular. They really painted themselves into a corner with that ending. The bottom line is that it seems very unlikely that a GOOD script could be generated which both stays true to the original movie and manages to reintegrate Crowe. The ONE possibility that I see is to forget all this sequel crap and consider a prequel. However, what you’d lose there is the ‘commanding’ presence of Crowe. Crowe just works to splendidly as a 30 or 40 something years old ‘general’. It gives the role such gravitas. It would feel like a downgrade to go from that to ‘Crowe as a young up and comer in the ranks of the army’. I guess we could make a movie of the period JUST before the events in Gladiator, i.e. have Crowe in a Rome->Germany to fight a ‘great war’. That might work. Could also throw him into the middle east (as the Romans were wont to do) prior to the German campaign.

    I love the movie. And I love that Ridley, master of all that is epic and good in cinema, did it. And I love that Crowe was in it. It was truly epic in a way that most movies that proclaim themselves as ‘epic’ really are not. But I feel like it will be an uphill battle to get a (pre)/(se) quel out. On top of it, Crowe isn’t getting any younger. While he isn’t a old man, it’s going to get progressively more difficult to put him back in that role. The window is still open. 5 more years? 10 with some makeup? But it isn’t going to last forever.

    Then again, for all my ‘it will never happen’, I guess this just really illustrates the role of ‘great’ writers. (?do they still exist in Hwood?) a ‘great’ writer could make it happen. The script leading off this blog post apparently does NOT originate from a great writer. Blech. I’d rather have Dan Simmons write it. ;) (I only half kid … is this a good or a bad thing I do not know)

    I guess I have a more general question which I’d LOVE to hear a thoughtful answer to … although I have my doubts that anyone will ever even read this post. Why am I writing this? Whatever!

    The question: WHY have the epics dried up about just as fast as they came out. Was it the crappy quality of the follow ons? I want to be real specific here (partly as a cathartic way of expressing my displeasure over the lack of development in a genre that I love): Gladiator seemed to show that epic sword and sandals, removed from the ‘corniness’ that plagued a lot of the 50s and 60s films, can draw a HUGE public.

    So what happened? Why aren’t there more ROME epic movies in the pipelines? Hollywood danced around the edges with some kind of okay, kind of not so okay stuff (alexander, troy, 300 – a great battle film but not epic in scope – kingdom of heaven) but they haven’t touched back to ROME. It’s coming on 10 years since Gladiator hit the cinema. Rome has a 1,000 year history. Why oh why are they afraid to draw from it?

  11. Well Logan you’re right; why hasn’t Hollywood done any project in the last 10 years with Rome as a main idea? Well is not that easy. There have been many movies about Rome, small projects actually but they weren’t even close to the magnitude of Gladiator. Most of them were failures. With the exception of Spartacus all 20-30 of them were forgotten very quickly. Not to mention here the movie Caligula that turned out to be hardcore porn instead of an epic movie.
    One needs to do a research and have a good background on Rome’s 1,000 years history in order to have a successful story. Even Gladiator was a failure in terms of historical background. Nothing was based on actual events. What you really need is take a (or few) true story and spin it around by Hollywood standards.
    I, myself, have completed a screenplay called “COLOSSEUM”. It’s based on couple of true stories. I just put them together. I found the most interesting figures of Roman history and unleash them against each other. 90% of the movie takes place in Coliseum.
    The worst Emperor ever; CALIGULA!
    The greatest General of Roman history DIOCLETIAN. (The true story of the kid who was born a slave, the slave who won his freedom and became a general, the General who became an Emperor and Re-Shaped an Empire) Funny coincidence!
    The story of the greatest Pirates of Adriatic (The Illyrians)
    And the story of the Queen of Illyria and her daughter Illyra!
    The story spins around the conflict between Diocletian and Caligula (once best friend) turned enemies.

  12. here is the Script:

    [EDIT by Brian, 05/07/09: link removed because it's no longer active]

  13. Well, I’d pay to see it. Gladiator was a complete piece of crap, but this sounds good.

  14. That link doesn’t seem to work. Anyone have a good one? I’d love to read this.

  15. Well, I know the script is out there somewhere, but I can’t manage to find it.

  16. The new script is great. The original was somewhat lame. IMHO for the sequel we’ll need some zombies. I really like zombies. It’ll be great do see some old fashioned swordfight with zombies. And some cocaine addicts. I really hate those. It will be great if it turns out the zombies were not some army sent from hell but junkies. And we should dump Crowe for Kiefer Sutherland.
    And I don’t like those roman names they are so hard to read. Everyone in the movie should be called Bob, Susan or Jeff.

  17. Hey Al Nika, that link seems to be broken. I’d really like to read this!

  18. Of course, this was written years ago and never made it past a first draft, and Nick Cave only wrote the script because Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott had asked him to (it probably was around the release of The Proposition, or at least the release would match the dates of those Scott-Crowe interviews). I imagine they told him to take it to whatever extremes he wished (which has worked well in certain pieces of Cave’s other work), and they would narrow its focus in later drafts if anything came of it. Obviously that didn’t happen.

    Cave’s script notwithstanding, a sequel in which Maximus wanders the afterlife and discovers his suffering is not yet over would not diminish the first film unless DW/Scott tried to wring out a trilogy as the Wachowskis did with The Matrix.

  19. Fair play to Cave for having a crack at a script for a sequel to Gladiator but I think a prequel (as mentioned in a previous post) would be much more interesting and plausible. I’d be very interested in seeing a movie of Maximus’ back-story and his rise through the ranks in the Roman army.

    Something for Messrs. Scott and Crowe to think about, preferrably before Crowe gets too old to play Maximus for a second time.

  20. That script actually looks interesting. If it were a standalone (and lacked fireballs and alligators), I’d probably go see it.

    @Logan Well, they did have the Rome TV series. And a follow-up movie is being made as we speak.

  21. I think it sounds awesome! it needs to be “fleshed out” and i think if you ditch the idea of a gladiator sequel, change everyones names to new names, add a brief new story intro and release it as a new movie.
    I think doing a sequel to any movie is silly unless it was preplanned and left open in the plotline to begin with,
    -R

  22. I loved the film myself and would love to see a sequel. The way the film ended has left no room for a sequel. Personally I think they should leave it alone and then gladiators reputation as a great film remains untarnished. Although if something is going to happen I think a prequel would be more fitting like others have mentioned. This way you could cast Russell Crowe later in the film and Crowe fans are happy. It would never be as good Gladiator but it worked for batman so this could be an option that swings either way.

  23. Gladiator is the best movie ever? Are you serious! Gladiator is just one reason why the last decade has been the worst in movie history.

  24. oh yeah Tim, and I blame Gladiator for the economical crisis and swine flu. And your birth.

  25. “an action-packed follow-up to Schindler’s List with a cryogenically-frozen Liam Neeson helping to save a doomed alien species 10,000 years in the future.”

    okay, that might be a little insensitive, but it also smells like money at the box office. get that treatment to spielberg, stat!

  26. this cassin would not agree to maximuse’s plans he would no doubt say these things youl have to do on your own i can not agree to more o r any blood shed. he would also say he’s not much of a leader the peole they call me that but im not much of a leader its gods force that makes me strong. if he was a true early christian leader they would also try to convert or sav maximus i want to tell you about jesus. they would say .but it the decision it all depends on the man and the moment

  27. I think this might make a good movie as long as there were absolutely no connections with Gladiator. It was an awesome movie on its own. It doesn’t need a sequel. I agree with points you have made, why it shouldn’t be a sequel.

    It could work as a separate movie.

  28. It’s not surprising that Nick Cave wrote a great sequel as The Proposition is a better movie than Gladiatior

  29. SOMEONE must know where we can track this down and read the whole she-bang . . . Anyone? PLEASE?

  30. Multiple reincarnations are the central premise of the Riverworld series, by Philip Jose Farmer.Let someone make a movie of that big rambling mess. Farmer died recently,but the copyright lingers on.

  31. If an unknown wrote this, the studio would just tell him/her straight out how demented it is. But because Nick Cave is a celebrity, they won’t explain that. They’ll give him meetings and they’ll say how “interesting” (studio code for “hopelessly wrong-headed”) it is. So it could end up wasting a lot of his time.

    Really, what he’s written there is a niche comic book concept. Not a movie – and certainly not a sequel to Gladiator!

  32. The script (well what’s posted of it here) sounds quite good until the point where Maximus is fighting tanks etc. Change the wacky plot of Maximus living throughout the ages otherwise this will likely be seen as some kind of parodic comedy compared to the original Gladiator movie which had a deep sense of realism and grit about it.

  33. If I was a studio head, I would try to buy and suppress this script. Too close to the “God of War” super summer blood-and-boobfest that somebody at my studio thought would be a great idea.

  34. Honestly, considering this was scripted prior to the production of ‘God of War’ I’d say it was they who robbed Cave of his story – not vice versa.

    That said – can someone please cough up a solid link to the actual script? I’d love to read it being a long time fan of the man and his music. What better writer suited for a bizarre task than Nick Cave when the hero has suffered and lost so much. Look at the man, his writing (music and otherwise) and see beyond your inability to suspend disbelief. He’s a storyteller – you’re just supposed to sit by the fire and listen.

  35. Heres the script:

    [EDIT 06/02/09 by Brian: Link removed because it wasn't working.]

  36. hi guys. sorry about the link.

    here:

    http://atlantisinmalta.art.officelive.com/Documents/COLOSSEUM.pdf

    if it doesnt work again you can request a copy from my e-mail: nikas@dr.com

    Bare in mind that this script was written with the help of at least 10 people (although I am the main screenwriter). I developed the idea but the dialog had to be rewrriten by professional writters.

    It has taken me over 5 years to writte and I had to read countless books in order to check the facts. Bare in mind that this is a collection of different mega-figures from roman history and put together. so don’t get surprised when you see Caligula in colosseum (colosseum was build after he passed way!)

    i have written many screenplays in my life and i have gotten a variety of reviews ranging from disturbing to nice…..

    but for this particular one I have yet to get even a critical sentence. for some reason everyone loves it. It has nothing to do with gladiator, yet it revolves around it. I can very easily turn it into a a gladiator sequel. I can use russel again as Diocletean. The kid that was born a slave, the slave that became a general the general who became a gladiator and the gladiator who defied an empire and became an emperor (90% true story!)

    I have made a poster about it(just for fun!) I have used some of the images from gladiator.

    http://atlantisinmalta.art.officelive.com/images/COLOSSEUM.jpg

    also I have re-compossed (based on an existing music score) the music for this movie. Here you can hear it:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/LECIUSA#play/all/uploads-all/0/WzocovziSk4

  37. I love this movie and it would be very interesting if they made a sequel. I think they need to stick with the same people that acted in the first fill gladiator if you have seen it. Faces make you remember the film before and know the character.

    The best way to do the movie is finish where the last one left off which would be saving Rome from the empire which Maximus does by killing Commodus. The Senate and the army should be the stars in a sequel if you think Maximus is dead. If he lives because that was only a flesh wound he will lead his army to save the people of Rome.

    I would love to see a sequel just because this was such a good movie but they also made it so you are not just hanging there at the end of a blank screen you see him going to his wife and son so you think he is dead and the Senate will fix Rome for the people.

  38. Hey Al Nika, read your script and love it. WOW, I see how it can very easily turn into a sequel for Gladiator. I think is better than gladiator 1. Hope you send it to Ridley Scott. Diocletian can be played by Russell Crowe. I think you have solved the problem man, instead of bringing him back from the dead.

    P.S Please send me the ending. It was missing.

  39. Wow, they can’t be serious can they? They should just leave ‘Gladiator’ untouched, period. Making a sequel and bringing him back completely shatters the emotion and meaning of the ending to the first. He finally achieving peace and eternity with his family being taken away shows complete unappreciation toward the messages and story of the first film. And using the supernatural as a loophole? That’s way too far too, lame in a movie that never even touched on supernatural ability. I seriously think that just even considering this brings down the value of ‘Gladiator’ a wonderful movie on its own, yet if this is made, i’m sure it would ruin the movie completely. Sure it may have a good script or good story, but other than the characters, it has nothing to do with ‘Gladiator’. I’m appalled and i’m sure others as well would just appreciate it if one good movie could remain untouched and keep its awesomeness preserved. Nick Cave, what the hell were you thinkin’?

  40. they should have russell crowe return as like a ghost and guides lucius to being a general or something, or possibly, do a build up to gladiator.

  41. Wildbearies story “Wolfs Bane” on Libriscrowe.com is THE BEST way to bring Maximus back and really keep the original mood and emotion of the original film. Why Scott and Crowe didn’t option this idea I do not know, but I can tell you it made me smile to read Wolfs Bane and at least have a bit more Maximus goodness!

  42. This seems like God of War got a movie deal. It is a good story though, but I’d like something to cover the video-game flavoring from my movies.

  43. Clash of the Titans meets American Gods.

    Good grief.

    I think my primary issue – of many – with this second screenplay is that Maximus going so suddenly from worship of the Roman gods to support of the Christians is poorly explained and the stag imagery only serves to confuse rather than strengthen this odd transition.

    Let me see if I understand. Maximus is for the first third of the movie sent on a fool’s errand to take care of Vulcan (not sure why we’re using a Greek god name in a Roman movie in the first place?), has no epic struggle with him (or really anyone – this is an *action* movie, right?), hears that the source of his movement through the whole first part of the movie is powerless and what he wants – and what drove him – is impossible.

    That’s dissatisfying, and not just to Maximus.

    Then we’ve got this weird stag-image, which signifies what? Is Diana secretly trying to whap him on the head about actual justice? “Dude, eye on the prize?” No? If we’re going with Christian imagery shouldn’t it be a lamb? If it’s pagan, then what do we have? Annwyn? Cernunnos?? The Horned King? Is this his connection with the underworld only we just jumped from the Roman/Greek mythos to Celtic? Or… is it his questing beast? Is he a Christian knight now and this is his white stag? Is he Arthur? WTF? I am all for obscure symbols but this is too obscure even for me.

    So Vulcan says “we gods are dead, sorry about that first third of the movie, it was pointless. Go with the new god.”

    Really?

    And Maximus goes “okey dokey” and wakes up a Christian and we go from there?

    Sorry, Maximus is *reborn* (AUGH!! AUGH!!!) as a Christian and we go from there?

    And out of nowhere this guy for whom religion was a big deal all through the first movie, who got *his religion’s* big reward (and that was the point, right? Telegraphed from the outset?), suddenly goes with the new god on the block, some upstart no one’s heard of just *because?*

    I’m totally not buying it and that would be the main reason this story falls down for me.

    Why does he fight for the Christians? Because of his son? Because… he woke up Christian one morning and that was that?

    I’m not seeing any coherent reason for Maximus to get from one end of this screenplay to the other. I’m not seeing what drives him, particularly after the Roman gods messed with him and the new god didn’t even bother to show his face. The Maximus I know would say “to hell with you all” (so to speak) and go break his family out of the underworld himself.

    He’d go all Orpheus/Odysseus/Gilgamesh, and take some good dead buddies with him and kick some underworld butt and that would be that.

    But hanging around on earth do to what for what reason why now? For whom because what?

    Maybe I’m dense and not getting it in a read but if I’m not getting it in a read here I’m not going to get it onscreen either, even with great dialogue and direction.

    Maxiumus is Roman. He worships the Roman gods. He’s also dead.

    Let’s leave it at that.

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