Monday, July 4, 2016

Joe Biz Movie Trivia - Gladiator

2000 Gladiator
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10.  Jack Gleeson modelled his character Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones (2011) after Emperor Commodus.
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9.  While looking at the dailies, Ridley Scott noticed that Joaquin Phoenix was gaining weight. Scott spoke to the line producer about it, who then went to Phoenix and told him, "Ridley says you're fat." The next day, Phoenix, in full armour, came to Scott and said, "I hear I look like a little fat hamster. I thought it was the right thing to do. I'm the emperor of Rome, why would I not look a little more debauched?" Phoenix then didn't eat for weeks.
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8.  Oliver Reed was asked to read for the part of Proximo, something he always refused to do. However, as he sensed that this was a great opportunity, Reed relented his usual rule and read for Ridley Scott.
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7.  Oliver Reed insisted to director Ridley Scott that his life was his own after 5 o'clock. Scott readily agreed to that.
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6.  During filming Russell Crowe became friends with Richard Harris. However, it was the opposite with Oliver Reed, who took an instant dislike to Crowe and at one point, challenged him to a fight.
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5.  Jennifer Lopez auditioned for the role of Lucilla.
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4.  Over the course of the gladiatorial scenes, Russell Crowe broke bones in his foot and his hip, and injured both bicep tendons.
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3.  That's not Russell Crowe's hand you see in the iconic shot of Maximus's hand brushing the stalks of wheat, but that of Crowe's double, Stuart Clark (credited as Stuart Clarke).
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2.  Russell Crowe was continually unhappy with the screenplay, rewriting much of it to suit his own ends. He would frequently walk off the set if he didn't get his way. The famous line "And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." he initially refused to say, telling writer William Nicholson "Your lines are garbage but I'm the greatest actor in the world and I can make even garbage sound good".
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1.  David Hemmings' pointed eyebrows were his own.
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EXTRAS
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Richard Harris would frequently ignore any newly rewritten scenes as he couldn't be bothered to relearn his lines.
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Joaquin Phoenix ad-libbed his scream of "Am I not merciful?", and Connie Nielsen's reaction of frightfully pulling away from him was genuine, since she wasn't expecting it.
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The scene where Maximus finds his family's corpses originally called for him to do a normal discreet-few-tears-down-each-cheek dignified cry... but Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott agreed that what Maximus was seeing demanded (as Crowe put it) a "full blown snot-fest".
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5 tigers were brought in for the sequence in the arena where Maximus fights Tigris the Gaul. A veterinarian armed with tranquilizer darts was in attendance for the entire length of shooting. For safety's sake, Russell Crowe was kept at least 15 feet away from the tigers.
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The wounds on 'Russell Crowe's face after the opening battle scene are real, caused when his horse startled and backed him into tree branches. The stitches in his cheek are clearly visible when he is telling Commodus he intends to return home.
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Although Commodus was initially favored by the people of Rome, he lost that status through dramatic actions of megalomania, and is often considered to be the initiator of the fall of Rome. During his reign he had much of the language changed to incorporate his own name into many of the common terms used, such as the terms for money and the people. Eventually both the citizens and the senate had enough and he was poisoned. When he vomited out the poison he was then choked to death in order to finish the job. The senate then returned the language back to what it was before Commodus, and also took down the many statues that he had put up of himself.
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The script had called for a battle scene between Maximus and a rhinoceros. Since it was too difficult to train and CGI could not make it realistic enough, the rhinoceros was omitted.
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Russell Crowe began shooting for Gladiator a few months after The Insider (1999) wrapped. He had gained upwards of 40 pounds for his Oscar-nominated role in The Insider and yet lost it all before Gladiator began. He claims he did nothing special other than normal work on his farm in Australia.
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As Oliver Reed died with three weeks of principal photography remaining and as he was considered a key character, a clause in the insurance coverage on the movie would have allowed the film-makers to shoot all of Reed's scenes with another actor, with the insurers footing the cost (estimated at $25million). However, most of the actors and crew were exhausted from the punishing schedule and Ridley Scott did not want to lose Reed from the movie, so the script was rewritten and CGI used to give Reed's character a plausible resolution.
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Gladiator (2000)
R | 2h 35min | Action, Drama | 5 May 2000 (USA)

When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni (story), David Franzoni (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen

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