Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning 2000 drama Gladiator ended in heartbreaking fashion, with Russell Crowe’s Maximus dying in the final battle against Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus. Crowe has now spoken about how this wasn’t always the plan.
Speaking to Empire, Crowe said that Scott decided to change Maximum’s fate after filming had begun. Crowe said he agreed with the change, saying it was more fitting to his journey.
“I remember Ridley coming up to me on set saying, ‘Look, the way this is shaping up, I don’t see how you live. This character is about one act of pure vengeance for his wife and child, and, once he’s accomplished that, what does he do?'” Crowe said.