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Russell Crowe nearly quit one of his best movies for one simple reason

Russell Crowe had some concerns about one of the best movies he made, and admits that on more than one occasion considered just leaving the whole production.

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind

Russell Crowe‘s been a part of a few best movie contenders, and atop that list is Gladiator. The historical action movie, directed by Ridley Scott, was a barnburner that stormed the box office and awards alike. And yet, while it was being made, Crowe was having second thoughts.

“At the core of what we were doing was a great concept, but the script, it was rubbish, absolute rubbish,” he told Vanity Fair. “It had all these sort of strange sequences.” He explains that the drama movie‘s screenplay explored Roman athletes of the era, to the point that he believed people were going to check out”

“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,” Crowe adds. “That’s all true, but it’s just not going to ring right to a modern audience. They’re going to go, ‘What the fuck is all this?’ The energy around what we were doing was very fractured.”

Crowe admits he thought the best plan might be to just “get on a plane and get out of here”. Scott, who truly believed that Crowe was the man for his adventure movie, stated that nothing would be filmed without the star’s full backing. This led to some substantial re-writes.

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“So when we actually started that film, we had 21 pages of script that we agreed on. A script is usually between 103 or four or 110 pages, something like that,” he adds. “So we had a long way to go, and we basically used up those pages in the first section of the movie. So by the time we got to our second location, which was Morocco, we were sort of catching up.”

Catch up they did, as the epic thriller movie was one of the biggest films of 2000, cementing Crowe’s career as well as Joaquin Phoenix. Recently, he made his first horror movie, and he told us all about it in our The Pope’s Exorcist interview. Have a peek at our new movies guide to see where else he might appear.