Russell Crowe considered walking away from Gladiator due to ‘rubbish’ first script

Russell Crowe has admitted he almost quit Gladiator due to a poor script but stayed due to director Ridley Scott’s assurance.

Russell Crowe almost walked away from Gladiator because the original script was “absolute rubbish”.

In a recent video interview with Vanity Fair, the New Zealand-born actor admitted he wasn’t confident about the script for Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic.

“At the core of what we were doing was a great concept, but the script, it was rubbish, absolute rubbish. It had all these sort of strange sequences,” he explained.

“One of them was about chariots and how famous gladiators used certain types of chariots and some famous gladiators had endorsement deals with products for olive oil and things like that, and that’s all true, but it’s just not going to ring right to a modern audience. They’re going to go, ‘What the f**k is all this?’ The energy around what we were doing was very fractured.”

However, after several conversations with Scott, Crowe, who was in his 20s at the time, gained the confidence to continue with the project.

“I did think maybe a couple of times, maybe my best option is to just get on a plane and get out of here,” Crowe confessed. “(Scott) said to me at one point in time, ‘Mate, we’re not committing anything to camera that you don’t believe in 100%.’ So when we actually started that film, we had 21 pages of script that we agreed on.”

Despite the challenges, the movie went on to be a massive success, with Crowe winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Maximus Decimus Meridius.

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