"What we do in life echoes in eternity."
More than 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.
But 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 Crowe's birthday...
This story was originally published on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 5 p.m.