Russell Crowe has joked he’ll return as General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the ‘Gladiator’ sequel – as a corpse lying “six feet under” the Colosseum.
The 58-year-old actor won an Oscar for playing the vengeful Roman commander in Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic and has said he won’t be starring in the long-awaited follow-up, set 20 years after the first film.
He joked on ‘The Jonathan Ross Show’: “I think when they’re shooting in the Colosseum and stuff, I’ll be lying like six feet underground… you won’t see me, but I’ll be there beneath the ground… .”
Russell added he had spoken with ‘Blade Runner’ director Ridley, 85, about the sequel, but they had concluded his character was better left dead.
He said: “I’ve had a Couple of dinners with Ridley since he embarked on this, we haven’t really talked about what he’s doing.
“But no, I’m not involved. Maximus has departed the world… .”
Russell also said shooting his latest film ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ in Rome was the first time he had filmed in the city – as ‘Gladiator’ was made in London and Morocco.
He added: “The funny thing is, a lot of people assume I’ve done a lot of filming in Rome… we shot ‘the other gig’ (Gladiator) in London and then Morocco. “The ‘Colosseum’ for us was in Malta. This film was my first time ever shooting in the city of Rome.”
Russell also told how his role as Maximus got him and ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ crew out of a sticky situation after the local authorities had closed a major bridge for them, but filming had overrun,
He said: “They didn’t say anything. I thought they’d come up to us hands waving… (but) they were cool about it.
“And then when it was finished I was like, ‘Thanks very much for keeping the bridge open’ and this guy was like, ‘No problem, Maximus.’”