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Gladiator’s Maximus Wanted To Open Pizza Joint In Alternate Ending?

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Gladiator is one of the most influential movies in Hollywood history. Apart from bagging 12 Oscar nominations and 5 wins, it changed pop culture forever. But, did you know that there was a different ending to the film? There was, and it involved Russell Crowe’s Maximus opening a pizza joint in Rome!

A Gladiator opening a Pizza Joint in Rome?!

Gladiator's Maximus Wanted To Open Pizza Joint In Alternate Ending, says Russel Crowe
Universal Studios and Dreamworks

Let’s face it, we all shed a tear when we saw Maximus pass away in the end. Ridley Scott really did a number on us with this film. But, apparently, Scott had initially planned that Maximus would not die at the end of Gladiator. Yes, he wasn’t fated for the grave in Scott’s initial idea of the film.

However, he eventually realized that keeping Maximus alive after the end of Gladiator didn’t suit the character. While talking to The Empire, Russell Crowe admitted that Ridley Scott came to him with the idea of Maximus’s death:

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?’

Russell believed Maximus dying was the logical ending

Russell Crowe believed that Maximus’s fate in Gladiator was pretty much sealed after his speech:

That ‘My name is Maximus…’ speech is basically a suicide note.

And let’s face it, what was Maximus going to do after he avenged the death of his wife and child? That’s exactly what Crowe thought. He joked that the best thing for him to do, had he survived, was to open a Pizza joint!

Yeah, what does Maximus do? Does he end up running a f*@#ing pizzeria by the Colosseum?

Maximus’s death was probably for the best

I mean sure, I have no doubts about the culinary skills of poor old Maximus, but let’s face it – his death was the only logical ending for Gladiator. After all, his entire life’s purpose was to avenge the death of his wife and child. Once that was done, his arc had completed. It’s sad I know, but without it, the Gladiator wouldn’t have been as magnificent as it is considered today.

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