Facts you might not know about 'Gladiator'

The screenplay was inspired by a book that had been kicking around for a while

Maximus wasn’t known as Maximus originally: Some of the characters in “Gladiator” are real people from history

Mel Gibson turned down the lead role: Russell Crowe ended up playing Maximus, but he was not the first choice

One of the actors was a pretty strong guy: Tigris of Gaul, a retired gladiator called back into action by Commodus to kill Maximus

Oliver Reed died during the production

Reed’s Proximo was supposed to live until the end of the movie

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