Gladiator’s Most Iconic Shot Was Unplanned

As he explained the shot, Scott’s thoughts turned to the themes of the film. “Do I believe in immortality?” Scott wondered aloud. “I’m not sure.” In the film, Maximus goes through harrowing trials that no one should have to go through, but in the end, he is rewarded. The gladiator makes it to the afterlife with his wife and child waiting for him, where he presumably lives forever. Even Scott, who is one of the most confident directors around, still mulls over the concept. Those around the filmmaker are more secure in their opinions. His son, Luke, posits that Scott always has a character proxy in every one of his films.

“In each movie, there is always a character who I think is Ridley,” he’d said. “They tend to be quite peripheral, almost observers. It’s the one with a darker humor, the one who is, perhaps, more divisive. The one who has the agenda.” One example he gave was Guy Pearce’s character, Peter Weyland, in “Prometheus” — a billionaire CEO searching for the one thing money can’t buy: immortality.

Even if Scott isn’t sure how he feels about immortality, his expansive list of well-regarded films means he will — at the very least — be remembered.

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