Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

From the "If it worked once, it will work again" department:

Maximus Decimus Meridius: commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and now extracted from the grave like a cheap movie of the week bit part as Dreamworks attempts to figure out a way to squeeze just a bit more money from the 6 year old dead and buried Oscar winner.

Yup, is reporting that aging Hollywood hunk and celebrity phone hurler Russell Crowe and Director Ridley Scott are going to figure out a way to dig up the corpse of Crowe's former success and bring his character back from the dead in a sequel to 2000's hit, "Gladiator."

Its been six years since we've seen the story of "the general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor." And since then, Crowe has fallen out of the spotlight somewhat. It seems as though he's not truly happy unless he can make an ass of himself on a grand scale. Earlier this year he was set to star with Nichole Kidman in a film that director Baz Luhrmann calls a combination of "Lawrence of Arabia" meets "Gone With the Wind" but decided he wasn't getting paid enough to be in it. "I don't do charity work for major studios," he said.

So now, he's figuring out a way to screw up what was a pretty solid film by cheapening it to the level of a typical Hollywood schlock pic: A sequel.

"Gladiator" has become a favorite of mine: A good story, great musical score, great cinematography, solid casting, and despite all of its behind the scenes drama - with writers quitting and principal actors dropping dead in the middle of production - managed to win five Oscars. Is Dreamworks so desperate for money that they are willing to sell xerox copies of their hit movie like a guy selling DVDs in the back alley?

Gladiator cost $145 million to film and promote. Do they really think they are going to be able to achieve the same level of success that they managed to get by the skin of their teeth six years ago? I guess we'll wait and see.

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