Despite his character dying at the end of 'Gladiator' and peacefully re-uniting with his family in the afterlife, Russell Crowe decided he wasn't done with the franchise. He wanted a sequel, and himself written back in. So he hired Nick Cave, a theatrical singer-songwriter, to write a screenplay and general concept. What Cave came up with was just, bonkers. He had Maximus waking in the afterlife, realizing that's a freaking sham, makes a deal with some Roman and Greek gods (just lazy), returns to Earth to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and fights countless battles across all time to no end. Crowe said, "nah." Good thing.