It should be noted that the part played by Russell Crowe was written with Mel Gibson in mind. You can tell, as with many of the lines sounding like several of his previous films. Mel, however, turned down the part due to it being too much like his other movies. He didn't want to be caught up in historical battle dramas (whether real or contrived), because his last two very sucessful films were Braveheart and The Patriot; both very similar to Gladiator in their own right.

This is not to say that I take complaint with the choice of Russell Crowe. His acting job was quite excellent, and I am the proud owner of it on DVD. The consistency job was not as high as it should have been, as there were several slip-ups and minor historical inaccuracies, but as an entertainment peice, it is superb.

Another interesting aside on the film is that the person who played Proximo (the older, freed gladiator), Oliver Reed, died during filming at the age of 61 on location in Malta, of a heart attack. The problem there was, he still had several scenes left to shoot. The effects editors did an excellent job by playing with computer lighting and positioning to make the remainder of his scenes look like there were actually shot by him. It was quite well done. Even under close inspection, I still cannot tell which scenes were altered.

Gladiator did very well at the 2001 Oscars. It won for:

It was also nominated for: