Maximus Musicalus: Film "Gladiator" to Be Turned Into a Musical

By Robert Simonson
May 17, 2006

Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning 2000 film "Gladiator," which featured enough slaughter to fill the Tiber River with blood, is being converted into a stage musical, London's Daily Telegraph reported.

The show is begin prepared for a West End berth. William Nicholson, the Shadowlands and The Retreat From Moscow playwright who co-penned the screenplay, is working on a storyline for the musical.

"It's a terrific story which, with the right songs, will be a great show," an associate of the producer Brian Eastman told the Telegraph. The show will feature much of Hans Zimmer's original film score. According to the New York Post's Liz Smith, Brian Stokes Mitchell is being sought for the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe is the movie.

The film tells of Roman general Maximus, who is promised the stewardship of Rome by dying Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Upon hearing the news, however, Marcus' spoiled and decadent son Commodus orders his rival killed. Maximus escapes, but his family is murdered. The soldier is then sold into slavery and trained to be a gladiator. Excelling at his new and bloody trade, Maximus makes it all the way back to the ultimate gladiatorial forum, the Coliseum in Rome. There, he begins to plot his revenge.