Nick Cave has spoken about his canned Gladiator 2 screenplay.
The singer was approached by Gladiator actor Russell Crowe to pen the script for the sequel to director Ridley Scott’s Roman Empire epic, despite all the main characters being killed off in the first film.
Cave recently discussed his script with US comedian Mark Maron for his WTF podcast – via Den Of Geek– where he revealed details of the plot and why his script was never put into production.
“(Crowe) rang me up and asked if I wanted to write ‘Gladiator 2,” he said. “For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask. ‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in ‘Gladiator 1′?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out.’ So, he goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers.”
He continued: “I wanted to call it ‘Christ Killer’ and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods. He becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20 minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild. It was a stone cold masterpiece. I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made. Let’s call it a popcorn dropper.”
In 2009, Gladiators director Ridley Scott told UGO: “We tried [to go with Cave’s script]. Russell didn’t want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well. When I say ‘worked very well’, I don’t refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well. Storytelling, [it] works brilliantly. I think [Cave] enjoyed doing it, and I think it was one of those things that he thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s a sequel where we can adjust the fantasy and bring [Maximus] back from the dead.”