I will always have time for Gladiator. The 2000 film is one of Ridley Scott’s best, with kickass action sequences, wonderful visuals and an iconic central performance by Russell Crowe. It’s one of those movies where if I see it’s on TV, I’ll always tune in and watch a bit… and usually stick with it right to the final moments. To my eyes, the pic still feels very modern, so it’s disconcerting that this year we’ll celebrate its 20th anniversary.
To mark the occasion, Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures are bringing Gladiator back to the big screen. The showings will take place at 600 theaters across the nation during the week of April 13th and full details can be found on Fathom’s website.
For many, this will be the first opportunity to see Gladiator as it was meant to be experienced. The film was famously one of the best-selling DVDs of the early 2000s. I had a copy myself, and was seriously impressed by the special features and deleted scenes they included. Since then, the movie has periodically popped up on various streaming services, and is now primarily available digitally. But seriously, seeing the Coliseum and watching Maximus carve through his enemies is a real sight to behold on the biggest screen possible. Maximus, I am indeed entertained.
And who knows, if this small re-release generates enough buzz, maybe it’ll move forward the long-delayed plans for a sequel? Sadly, we’ll never get to see the Nick Cave-penned Gladiator 2 that’d have seen Maximus resurrected as an immortal, but there’ve been numerous other attempts to continue the story beyond his triumphant death on the dusty arena floor.
Now, everyone put on your growliest, Russell Crowe voice and repeat along with me:
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”