The “alternate” ending of Gladiator that almost ruined the movie

It’s been 23 years since the release of “Gladiator,” the movie in which Russell Crowe played the unforgettable General Maximus Decimus Meridius. And, as unlikely as it may seem, the project to produce the sequel to the story is already generating great anticipation. According to a post on Deadline, it was recently announced that actor Joseph Quinn was in talks to play the role of Emperor Caracalla. While Connie Nielsen could continue with her interpretation of Galeria Lucila.

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The Alternate Ending Of Gladiator That Almost Ruined The Movie

But, with two decades between the films, the production of a Gladiator sequel still seems somewhat counterintuitive. Especially since the hero and protagonist of the first film is killed off at the climax. This is the kind of epic conclusion for which the work won five Oscars. And you may not know it, but director Ridley Scott had a very different ending in mind for Gladiator.

The story.

The original story tells the life and work of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a betrayed Phoenix legion commander who seeks revenge. Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is the usurping emperor of Rome, who murdered Maximus’ wife and son. Near the end of the film, Maximus has the opportunity to satisfy his thirst for revenge when Commodus arranges a duel between the two.

The protagonist is cowardly and fatally stabbed by the emperor. But, despite the tricks, the gladiator manages to kill his enemy before he dies.

Final duel between Maximus and Commodus, Gladiator

The original screenplay for Gladiator.

As stated by Crowe in an interview with Empire magazine, the original script stipulated that Maximo would continue to live after completing his revenge. Eventually, the development team behind the film concluded that, if the protagonist’s only motivation was revenge, it was illogical for him to lead a normal life.

That’s how the idea of killing both the villain and the hero in the same scene came about. “What does this character do when he completes an act of pure revenge for his wife and son?” said Russell Crowe in the interview. That’s why Gladiator ends with the death of the main character. Well, if Maximo were alive, both the protagonist and the plot would no longer make sense.

The only way Maximo would be reunited with his family again is to lose his life. Therefore, it can be said that an alternate ending would certainly have a very different, and even less satisfying, effect on the general public.



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