Russell Crowe details axed story idea for ‘Gladiator 2’

"I don't think he appreciated my sense of humor at the time"

Russell Crowe has explained a canned storyline envisaged for Gladiator 2.

The actor, who played Maximus in Ridley Scott’s 2000 historical epic, recalled a conversation with producer Doug Wick suggesting a Bible-inspired plot development for the character, seeing him carried into a cave and resurrected a few days later.

“Last time I talked to Doug,” Crowe began in an interview with Screen Rant, “he said he had this great idea where Maximus gets carried from the stadium and they pull back this big rock and he gets put into this cave and then the rock closes over and he’s anointed with oils. And then the rock opens up and he comes out.

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“And I said, “Doug, I don’t think we have the rights to that story.” But that was a long, long time ago and I don’t think he appreciated my sense of humor at the time.”

Crowe revealed recently that he felt guilty for his Oscar win, taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor – while the film also won Best Picture.

“It was a humbling experience, man, because I’m watching it and so much changed in my life,” Crowe said. “I got so many pats on the back, and, you know, I got some big awards and all that, and obviously that sort of stepped me up to a different level for quite some time.

“But I watched that movie, and it’s a director’s film. It was one of those moments of, ‘Why did I get all the attention when really the Academy Award belongs to Ridley Scott?’”

Russell Crowe most recently starred in road-rage thriller Unhinged. In a four-star review, NME called the film “a vicious, trashy thriller seemingly with no deep meaning, zeitgeist-surfing message or overt concessions to modernity,” adding, “There’s just tense, fast entertainment that doesn’t outstay its welcome for a lean 93 minutes.”

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