Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Listen: 37-Minute Talk With Michael Haneke & Darren Aronofsky Listen: 37-Minute Talk With Michael Haneke & Darren Aronofsky Watch: 70-Minute Documentary About The Making Of Martin Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' Watch: 70-Minute Documentary About The Making Of Martin Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Rooney Mara In Talks To Reteam With David Fincher For HBO Series 'Utopia' Rooney Mara In Talks To Reteam With David Fincher For HBO Series 'Utopia' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances 'Magic Mike XXL' Soundtrack Features Backstreet Boys, R. Kelly, Ginuwine, Jodeci, And More 'Magic Mike XXL' Soundtrack Features Backstreet Boys, R. Kelly, Ginuwine, Jodeci, And More First Listen: Here's Your 'True Detective' Season 2 Theme Song & The First Episode Music Cues First Listen: Here's Your 'True Detective' Season 2 Theme Song & The First Episode Music Cues 'The Leftovers' Reboots For Season 2, Switches Setting And Makes Casting Changes 'The Leftovers' Reboots For Season 2, Switches Setting And Makes Casting Changes The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Nick Cave Reveals Details About His 'Gladiator 2' Script 'Christ Killer' & You Can Read The Full Screenplay Right Here

The Playlist By Diana Drumm | The Playlist July 12, 2013 at 11:41AM

Remember that time when Nick Cave was hired to write the script for "Gladiator 2"? Oh, you don't? Well, we reported on it back in 2009 and, thanks to Nick Cave's recent appearance (described as "tense" and "daunting") on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast, that piece of trivia is hitting the interwebs again.
20
Gladiator Nick Cave

Remember that time when Nick Cave was hired to write the script for "Gladiator 2"? Oh, you don't? Well, we reported on it back in 2009 and, thanks to Nick Cave's recent appearance (described as "tense" and "daunting") on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast, that piece of trivia is hitting the interwebs again.

For some context, Cave had only one script to his name (this was roughly a decade before "Lawless") when fellow Aussie and friend Russell Crowe approached the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds front man to pen the sequel to "Gladiator." As "out there" as that reads, it goes even farther when you consider that this proposed project would have been a sequel to a film in which the protagonist (Maximus/Russell Crowe) had already died and was on his way to Elysium. In the podcast with Marc Maron, Cave talked about the specifics on how he got involved in the Ridley Scott-helmed project and what that script was actually about.

Turns out all it took was a phone call. As Cave told Maron, Crowe "eventually, rang me up and asked if I wanted to write 'Gladiator 2' (laughs) and for someone who had only written one film script ["Ghosts... of the Civil Dead"], it was quite an ask." Naturally, Cave asked, "Hey Russell, didn't you die in 'Gladiator 1'?" To which Crowe replied with a simple, "Yeah, you sort that out." And Cave did, by making Maximus an immortal (resurrections included) and getting Jesus Christ involved. Say what?

That's right. In Nick Cave's hands, "Gladiator 2" would have involved the Christ man-god along with a bunch of Roman gods, all on the same theological footing. Yeesh, we're not going to touch that with a ten-foot Spear of Longinus. Cave explained that Maximus post-mortem, "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." Remember, this was meant to be a follow-up to mega-blockbuster "Gladiator," not some side experimental project.

As though that wouldn't be hard enough for a typical Hollywood producer to swallow, let alone people still riding on the "Gladiator" train, Cave's script also called for a plot twist of biblical/Greek tragedy proportions. It was to be revealed "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 20 minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild." To add the icing on this abstract multi-century "deities vs. deity vs. humankind" cake, Cave "wanted to call it 'Christ Killer.' "

According to Cave, Crowe reacted with a simple, "Don't like it, mate." Contrarily, Ridley Scott supposedly said that it was the producers, not Crowe, who nixed Cave's script. According to multiple sources (including the Guardian, NME and Clash), Scott told UGO.com (a now-defunct site) that, "We tried (to work with Cave's screenplay). Russell didn't want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well. When I say 'worked very well', I don't refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well. (As a piece of) storytelling, (it) works brilliantly." Either way, you won't be seeing "Gladiator 2: Christ Killer" coming to a theater near you anytime soon, or ever.

The script itself leaked a few years ago, but we can't get our hands on it at the moment. Apparently, "it ended in the men's bathroom at the Pentagon." Yowza. Though Nick Cave confessed to Marc Maron that he knew this script was never going to get made (calling it "a popcorn dropper"), he maintained that, "It was a stone cold masterpiece," and we'd tend to believe him, offering an appendage or two (more finger/toe variety than full arm/leg) to see it made to full fruition. If you can find a live link to the script, pretty please with cherries on top send it along. Update: Thanks to some awesome readers, we've been pointed to the script which you can read below!


This article is related to: Nick Cave, Russell Crowe, Ridley Scott


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates