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Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic

Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic

by Ridley Scott

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The official illustrated companion book to the winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Costume Design, Sound, and Visual Effects.

Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Alien) brings the glorious battles of the ancient Roman arena back to the big screen. Set against the splendor and


The official illustrated companion book to the winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Costume Design, Sound, and Visual Effects.

Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Alien) brings the glorious battles of the ancient Roman arena back to the big screen. Set against the splendor and barbarity of the Roman Empire in AD 180, Gladiator tells an epic story of courage and revenge: The great Roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) has been forced into exile and slavery by the jealous heir to the throne, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Trained as a gladiator, Maximus returns to Rome, intent on avenging the murder of his family by Commodus, now emperor. The one power stronger than that of the emperor is the will of the people, and Maximus knows he can attain his revenge only by becoming the greatest hero in all the Empire. Russell Crowe heads up an international cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielson, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, and Richard Harris. Directed by Ridley Scott from a script by David Franzoni and John Logan, Gladiator is produced by Franzoni, Douglas Wick, and Branko Lustig, with Walter F. Parkes serving as executive producer.

This is the official full-color companion book, featuring excerpts from the screenplay, historical sidebars and illustrations, details on period costumes and epic set designs, behind-the-scenes photographs from the location filming, and interviews with the screenwriters, actors, and director.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Throughout Europe, the legacy of the ancient Romans is evident. They built wherever they traveled, creating roads, coliseums, aqueducts, and much more. Many producers and directors of films have been fascinated by the history of the Romans and many movies have been made, but Ridley Scott's approach was to focus on the characters and issues of the time. Loaded with photographs from the film, storyboards and drawings from the set designs, film lovers and artists will enjoy the visual aspects of the book. The sword fights, 500-pound speeding chariots, and uncooperative tigers were but a few of the challenges Ridley faced. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither were the sets. The supreme production challenge was in building the Roman Colosseum, an amphitheater that was built in 70 A.D. especially for blood sports. The original structure was an engineering feat, supported by arches and columns, and lavishly decorated. Although smaller in scale, the set design is artistically rendered and includes the retractable awning that covered the Colosseum on hot days, and the underground elevators that lifted the animals to the arena. Much research went into designing weapons, vehicles, and clothing. Filmmakers reveal their decision-making process and planning. At the end, the story of the movie is given in a synopsis, making the reader feel as though the movie had been viewed. 2000, Newmarket Press. Ages All. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
Library Journal
Having already snagged Golden Globe Awards for Best Film and Best Music and boasting 12 Oscar nominations, Gladiator, the undisputed cinematic spectacle of last year, could easily become another Academy Award juggernaut. Scott's riveting historical drama concerns the fall of a Roman general owing to political intrigues following the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his subsequent rise to become the people's hero as a slave and champion gladiator. This cornucopia of over 200 photographs, costume sketches, architectural renderings, storyboards, and digital-effects images is divided among two sections. "Raising the Roman Empire" covers the story development, film locations, cast selections, and film details. "A Dream That Was Rome" explicates the story through synopsis and includes generous excerpts from the screenplay. A beautiful work that transcends its cinematic subject, this book will fascinate anyone with an interest in scenic design or Ancient Rome. An obligatory acquisition. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-An intriguing look at the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning film. "Raising the Roman Empire" covers the background of the film, from its original conception and development to set design and the re-creation of the Colosseum. Short interviews with the principal actors include their takes on their respective characters and the actual history behind the story. "A Dream That Was Rome" uses narration, script excerpts, storyboards, and stills to describe the film's action. The entire book is lavishly illustrated with photos, production drawings, and reproductions. The design is attractive and lends itself to browsing. Readers will find many interesting facts, especially about the costumes (Russell Crowe's armor had to be duplicated 12 times) and the visual effects (extras were shot against a green screen and multiplied in the computer for the Colosseum crowd shots).-Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This companion book to the movie will appeal to any fan of Gladiator, providing over 200 color photos and drawings and detailing the behind-the-scenes production secrets of one of the finest films of the year. Interviews reveal how the story was written and the movie cast and filmed, while color illustrations and photos liberally embellish every page.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Newmarket Pictorial Moviebook Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.45(d)

Meet the Author

Ridley Scott is the director of G.I. Jane, White Squall, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Thelma and Louise, Black Rain, Someone to Watch Over Me, Legend, Blade Runner, Alien, The Duellist, and the forthcoming Hannibal (2000).

David H. Franzoni's previous films include Amistad and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

John Logan was a screenwriter for RKO 281, Any Given Sunday, and Bats.

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