"What we do in life echoes in eternity."

And 20 years later, Gladiator still holds up as one of the most popular movies of all-time, with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix both delivering career-making performances in the 2000 hit film.

With a budget of $103 million and lots of tension on set as the script was constantly being worked on, expectations were high for esteemed director Ridley Scott's epic action adventure about Maximus (Crowe), a general-turned-gladiator looking to avenge the death of his wife and child. 

Bu Gladiator received the thumbs up from critics and movie-goers, going on to gross over $450 million worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing movie of the year, and winning five Oscars.

Still, it wasn't an easy journey to get there, with Crowe famously clashing with the screenwriter on-set, Phoenix, who played Commodus, one of cinema's greatest villains, almost dropping out of the film and, one actor tragically dying during production... 

Here are 20 behind-the-scenes secrets you might not know about Gladiator in honor of its 20th anniversary...

Gladiator, Russell Crowe

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Gladiator, Joaquin Phoenix, Russell Crowe

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Gladiator, Connie Nielsen, Russell Crowe

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Gladiator, Russell Crowe, Djimon Hounsou

Jaap Buitendijk/Dreamworks/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Gladiator, Russell Crowe

Jaap Buitendijk/Dreamworks/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Gladiator, Joaquin Phoenix

Jaap Buitendijk/Dreamworks/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Gladiator, Russell Crowe

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