Musician and occasional script writer Nick Cave spoke with Mark Maron’s WTF podcast the other day and for the first time discussed the scrapped screenplay that Cave penned for a “Gladiator” sequel.
Actor Russell Crowe approached Cave about the gig almost a decade ago and both he and Scott tried to move it forward at Dreamworks without much success.
It sounds like the script worked on its own terms, but it didn’t quite fit either the first film or the studio’s vision. Cave says:
“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 [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 his followers.
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 twenty 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.”