“I am the Gladiator!”

May 6, 2009

Posted by Nick Sarno


Nick Cave wrote a script for the sequel of Gladiator. I really don’t know what to write other than “Nick Cave wrote a script for the sequel of Gladiator.” Like, one day after dinner, Nick Cave turned on his computer, sat down, and wrote “Gladiator II.” 


It seems Russell Crowe approached fellow Australian Cave to write a script for the Academy Award winning sword and sandal flick. Cave responded by writing down every single idea he could come up with. How crazy? Well, it ends in the men’s room in the Pentagon.


I really want this to be true. Call me a sceptic though, but I won’t believe it until I read the whole thing for myself. While Nick Cave sits by my side. Reading aloud, softly.*


Below is a bit of the synopsis. Go here to read the whole thing:

EXT. Dark Wilderness, a storm rages. We follow two thieves as they stumble across the body of a Gladiator lying in the mud. They strip it of its armor and weaponry. One of the men suddenly goes silent; a large spear is embedded in his spine. As the other man flees, he turns to see the dead Gladiator rising:

It is MAXIMUS…gasping for air, frantic and disoriented.

A middle-aged man steps out of the shadows to assist. He introduces himself as MOREDECAI. He says that he’s been waiting for Maximus to arrive since watching him die in the Coliseum yesterday. Maximus says that he has no time for riddles. Mordecai responds that he has all eternity.

Cut to: Maximus makes his way through a wheat field, his wife and son (MARIA and MARIUS) stand beneath a giant poplar in the distance. A storm hits, heavy rain obscuring his vision. A fantastic bolt of lightning strikes the poplar. He violently awakens. Mordecai approaches and explains that there is something he needs to show him.

As they walk, Maximus stresses that he must locate his family. Mordecai tells him that there are those who search and those have given up the search. Over eternity, the former eventually become the latter. They approach the edge of a cliff…

Beneath them in the valley: an encampment bordering a pitch-black sea, filled with the infinite numbers of the damned, stretching endlessly to eternity. They descend.

While making their way through the camp, Mordecai breaks up a fight between two women. He’s something of a peacekeeper here. In return for his services, the Gods allow him to return to Rome (in spectral form) for brief visits. In the midst of their conversation, the crowd explodes with excitement. In the distance: a lone man glides along the darkened sea on a small boat. Thousands pour into the water shouting “Elysium!” as the boat disappears into the fog. Mordecai pronounces them fools for believing there is any escape.

We cut to The Coliseum, teeming with thousands of cheering Romans. The grounds are completely flooded with several ships battling hundreds of alligators with fireballs and arrows.

Lucius and an army of hundreds approach. A massive battle ensues. Lucius kills Juba. Enraged, Maximus cuts Lucius to pieces. As readies to deliver the killing stroke, Lucius drops his sword and seems to accept his fate: “Only at your hands, Maximus”. An arrow then explodes through Lucius’ neck, fired by Marius. A storm hits, the heavens explode with rage. Marius falls to knees and bellows: “Oh lord what have we done?” Maximus kneels as well, rubs dirt between his fingers.

We intercut the following with shots of the dying stag from earlier in the film:
– Middle Eastern Battlefield: Maximus stands surrounded by hundreds of Crusaders as they battle a Muslim army. Everyone dies around him, only Maximus remains untouched.
– Europe: Maximus battles tanks in World War 2.
– Vietnam: Maximus battles Vietcong with a flamethrower.
– The Pentagon, Present Day: Maximus washing his hands in a men’s room sink. He stars at himself in the mirror…reflecting. Mordecai stands behind him…whispers: “Until eternity itself has said it’s prayers.” Maximus exits; proceeds into a large war room containing a dozen men in suits.


And, just ’cause:

*Personal note to Nick Cave, should he read this: I’m usually free in the early afternoons. I’d be happy to make you lunch…some kind of curry, perhaps? Please take a picture of yourself holding a sign that says “Who let the bats out?” and include it with your first email, just so I know it’s you. Thank you.


One Response to ““I am the Gladiator!””

  1. scarahliz Says:

    The first few bits of that script sound like they are straight out of the God of War video games.

    No joke.

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