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Studio Rejects Nick Cave’s Awesome-Sounding Gladiator 2 Screenplay

The Playlist uncovered this delightful story on Monday, though we (and the Guardian) are just getting to it: Were you aware that Bad Seeds leader Nick Cave was once asked by friend Russell Crowe to write a sequel to 2000 gladiator drama Gladiator? It's true, we guess!

This blog (in a post from last year) gives a detailed, predictably hilarious synopsis of the script, which elegantly solves the problem of Crowe's character's death at the end of the original film by reincarnating him and making him unkillable (he lives to fight in the Crusades, World War II, and Vietnam), and ends with Maximus washing his hands in a Pentagon bathroom before walking into a war room.

According to Gladiator director Ridley Scott, "We tried [to go with Cave's script]. 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. Storytelling, [it] works brilliantly." But someone at DreamWorks got cold feet, evidently, and it was never produced. If Russell Crowe wants to call us, though, we'll totally give him $100 million to make this thing.

Nick Cave Wrote A Script For A Russell Crowe-Commissioned 'Gladiator 2'? [Playlist]

Photo: Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Dreamworks