Theatrical release: May 5, 2000 (National).
Richard Harris accepted the part of Marcus Aurelius after Ridley Scott agreed to shoot his scenes on seven consecutive days.
Russell Crowe had a hand in fixing the original script.
Although the script is fiction, some of the characters are based on historical fact. Commodus was indeed the son of Marcus Aurelius; he took over after his father's death and fought many times in the Colosseum, although the battles were usually setups.
Oliver Reed died shortly before the end of filming; his final scene had to be shot with a body double, with the help of some FORREST GUMP-style computer animation.
Derek Jacobi played the emperor Claudius in the 1976 miniseries I, Claudius, which ends approximately 130 years prior to the beginning of GLADIATOR.
The majority of the crowd in the Colosseum was computer-generated.
The look of the film was based on Jean-Leon Gerome's painting "Thumbs Down," featuring a gladiator scanning the crowd to see if he should kill his fallen opponent.
Paul Clinton of cnn.com, Philip French of the Guardian Unlimited (UK), Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, and the National Board of Review named GLADIATOR one of the 10 best films of 2000.
GLADIATOR won the 2001 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture--Drama.
Russell Crowe was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Drama.
Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture--Drama.
Ridley Scott was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director--Motion Picture.
Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score--Motion Picture.
Russell Crowe was named Best Actor by the San Diego Film Critics Society and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
The San Diego Film Critics Society's Best Body of Work award for 2000 went to Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR, QUILLS, THE YARDS), and the award for Best Cinematography went to John Matheison.
Joaquin Phoenix was named Best Supporting Actor by the Broadcast Film Critics Association for his work in GLADIATOR, QUILLS, and THE YARDS.
Pietro Scalia won Best Film Editing, Janty Yates won Best Costume Design, and Hans Zimmer won Best Score from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, which also awarded GLADIATOR Best DVD and Best Visual Effects.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association awarded GLADIATOR Best Cinematography (John Matheison), Best Production Design (Arthur Marx). It also named Hans Zimmer Best Composer for his work in GLADIATOR, M:I-2, and THE ROAD TO EL DORADO.
The National Board of Review awarded GLADIATOR Best Production Design and Art Direction.
Academy Awards Best Picture 2000
Academy Awards Best Actor 2000 Russell Crowe Australian Actor, GLADIATOR (2000)