Nick Cave Penned Follow Up Script To Gladiator Abandoned ‘Gladiator 2 – Christ Killer’ Left Unfinished… ‘This sounds like it could have been total genius.

The huge hit film Gladiator was looking for a follow…who better to call than Nick Cave to attempt to construct a plot and attempt to explain why the Russell Crowe character had come back to life! Not stopping there Nick went the whole hog and ended up with a film called Christ Killer and a complex, bizarre, arcane and quite genius plot that almost even more mentally Crowe and director Ridley Scott attempted to make int a film before grinding to a halt.

It’s hard to imagine Hollywood going much further with a film called Christ Killer but somehow they did for some time.

Nick Cave explained in an interview…

“For someone who had only written one film script, it was quite an ask. ‘Hey Russell, didn’t you die in ‘Gladiator 1′?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out’.

“So, he goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers.”

“I wanted to call it ‘Christ Killer’,” he added, “and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods.

“He becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20 minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild. It was a stone cold masterpiece. I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made. Let’s call it a popcorn dropper.”

Director Ridley Scott has added that despite the high-concept, the script worked well.

“We tried (to work with Cave’s screenplay),” Scott told “Russell didn’t want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well. When I say ‘worked very well’, I don’t refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well. (As a piece of) storytelling, (it) works brilliantly.

“I think (Cave) enjoyed doing it, and I think it was one of those things that he thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s a sequel where we can adjust the fantasy and bring (Crowe’s character) back from the dead’.”

Someone needs to make this sequel happen…it sounds like total genius.


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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