It's been 20 years since Gladiator was released and we're still learning things about this great movie from director Ridley Scott.
In a new interview on the occasion of this anniversary, the director Ridley Scott and actors Russell Crowe, Connie Nielsen, and Djimon Hounsou discussed their time spent shooting the film. Most amazing, though, are the comments made on how the Gladiator script was written.
Ridley Scott recalled how the $ 103 million budget movie started production on a very basic script. In fact, while filming the Battle of Germania in the first half of Gladiator, the director revealed that he and Russell Crowe, who played the protagonist Maximus, collaborated to improve the dialogue.
"In the first act, the battle of Germania, Russell says, 'What the hell am I going to say?' And I said, 'Well, there is going to be a bird on a branch and how ironic is this robin on this battlefield where We will see a bloodbath. "Then he said, 'OK,' and look at this twig and imagine a robin. Then he said, "But what the hell am I going to say?" I said "I don't know, why don't you just say" Hmm, good morning! It looks like snow. ’”
To this, Crowe revealed, "I have often said to Ridley Scott since then, 'One of these days we should make a movie where we know what we are going to do before we start.'" Crowe was not the only one. making important contributions to the Gladiator script.
Connie Nielsen, who played Lucilla, also revealed how the director requested help with the script rewriting.
"Ridley Scott calls me from Shepperton (England) and says," Connie, could you tell me what you think of the rewrite? “And I pointed out to him that there were some serious inaccuracies in the structure. For example, it had a line where it said "the police state" and it's like "Um, police state? Do you really want me to use that phrase? Or put the phrase in a museum. "I don't think at that time people considered the word museum in the same way that we consider a museum today."
While talking about his time on Gladiator, Hounsou, who played a slave named Juba who fights alongside Maximus in gladiatorial games, also revealed that he did a key rewrite of the script. He shared: "The initial script made me the head of the slaves during that time and I said, 'It shouldn't be the definition of slavery.' Slavery did not exist back then, so what are we really talking about? We are talking about using humans to do that kind of fighting entertainment and all those people were considered slaves. "
So if the protagonists of the Gladiator cast were contributing notable rewrites before and during filming, where exactly was screenwriter David Franzoni at all times?
"We all drank whiskey and smoked cigars. We exchange notes and ideas. Then he would come back and write at 3 or 4 in the morning and turn the pages over to Ridley Scott. During filming, I left and met Russell. We met almost daily before he filmed and talked about the scenes. I remember once we were sitting on the ground, drawing things on the sand. It was a very '60s way of making a movie. "
It seems almost a miracle that this film had such a good finish. Fortunately, Ridley Scott and his team accomplished something great because Gladiator won five Oscars, including Best Actor for Russell Crowe.
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