When you think about the famous lines from the 2000 film Gladiator, there are a few that will probably give you goosebumps to this day. There’s the most famous monologue: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North…” And of course, “Are you not entertained!?”
But there’s another quote at the end of the movie that hardcore fans will always remember from Juba, the enslaved Numidian tribesman who befriends Maximus: “Now we are free. I will see you again. But not yet, not yet…” The line could be interpreted as an open-ended conclusion, possibly setting the film up for a sequel. But after 15 years, no projects have been announced in the film’s name.
Now, that might be disappointing for fans who didn’t get their Gladiator fill. However, according to a recent article from Movie Pilot, it’s probably for the best. According to writer Mark Newton, after the film’s success, Russell Crowe asked musician and screenwriter Nick Cave to create a script for a potential sequel. During a WTF podcast with Marc Maron, Cave described the script he created as the following:
“So, he [Maximus] 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 all his followers.”
For the ending, Cave had Maximus granted with immortality, and he came back to earth to fight in various battles throughout history, from the crusades to WWII and Vietnam, “eventually washing his hands in a Pentagon wash-room.”
Crowe’s response to Cave’s script: “Don’t like it, mate.” And as for Crowe’s response to the script’s twist ending? “Don’t like it, mate.”
Needless to say, the idea of a sequel was pretty much eliminated after that, likely to the relief of the majority of fans.
It’s not all bad news though. Even without the sequel, the film still manages to say relevant through other means. There’s a game available from Betfair that features the favorite warrior. For those unfamiliar, it’s a slot-based game with animated bits and music from the movie, and it allows players to make a little money off their fandom. The unique game style transcends other developments that make action/adventure games obsolete, so it manages to stay a popular option even 15 years later.
There’s even a wedding company, Viva Las Vegas Weddings, that provides Gladiator-themed wedding packages for the truly obsessed fan. The couple’s special day can include everything from costumes and a gladiator minister, to period-appropriate music and decor.
Sure, they’re not a sequel or major project by any means. However, considering the alternative presented by the aforementioned script, they certainly seem like the better choice in this case.