Russell Crowe, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of General Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic film ‘Gladiator’, recently joked about his potential return in the long-awaited sequel. Appearing on ‘The Jonathan Ross Show’, the 58-year-old actor quipped that while he won’t be starring in the follow-up, set 20 years after the first film, he will still have a presence as a corpse lying “six feet under” the Colosseum.
Crowe shared that he has had discussions with Ridley Scott, the 85-year-old ‘Blade Runner director, about the sequel. However, they ultimately decided that the story of his character, General Maximus, was better left with his demise in the original film. He said, “I’ve had a couple of dinners with Ridley since he embarked on this, we haven’t talked about what he’s doing. But no, I’m not involved. Maximus has departed the world… .”
The actor went on to reveal that his recent film ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ was the first time he had filmed in Rome, despite many assuming he had done so for ‘Gladiator’. Crowe explained that the original movie was shot in London and Morocco, with the ‘Colosseum’ scenes being filmed in Malta. “This film was my first time shooting in the city of Rome,” he added.
Crowe also shared an amusing anecdote about how his role as Maximus helped him and the crew of ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ when local authorities in Rome had closed a major bridge for their filming, which ended up running longer than expected. Instead of causing any trouble, the authorities were surprisingly understanding. Crowe recounted, “They didn’t say anything. I thought they’d come up to us hands waving… (but) they were cool about it. And then when it was finished I was like, ‘Thanks very much for keeping the bridge open’ and this guy was like, ‘No problem, Maximus.’”