Gladiator: 4K Ultra HD Release for 20th Anniversary

Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Courtesy of DreamWorks/Universal/Paramount.

Gladiator, the Oscar-winning film starring Russell Crowe, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Paramount Pictures.

The new release, available in a limited edition steelbook, includes both the theatrical and extended editions.  With the steelbook, there is also access to a digital copy.  The film tells the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), a brave Roman general who ended up forced into slavery when the corrupt prince, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), betrayed him.  Meridius returned to Rome as a gladiator to seek his revenge and defy the empire.

As with most films based on this era in history, there are also changes made in Gladiator dramatic purposes.  Maximus is completely fictional but certainly resembles a number of historic figures including Spartacus.  Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) also died of the plague rather than Commodus killing him.  Make no mistake that a pair of epic films had a big influence on the visual design: Ben-Hur and Spartacus.

There are special features across both the 4K UHD and a pair of Blu-rays.  They include some four hours of previously released bonus material.

Paramount originally opened Gladiator in theaters on May 5, 2000.  Earning $457 million worldwide the film would also take home 5 Academy Awards.  The five Oscars were for Best Picture, Best Actor (Crowe), Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects.

BONUS CONTENT (Blu-ray Only Unless Noted)

  • Introduction by director Ridley Scott (Extended Edition)*
  • Commentary by director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe (Extended Edition)*
  • Commentary by director Ridley Scott, editor Pietro Scalia, and cinematographer John Mathieson (Theatrical edition)*
  • The Scrolls of Knowledge
  • Deleted Scenes Index with Optional Commentary by Ridley Scott
  • Visions from Elysium: Topic Portal
  • Strength and Honor: Creating the World of Gladiator
  • Image & Design
    • Storyboard Demonstration
    • Storyboard Archive
    • Costume Design Gallery
    • Photo Galleries
  • Abandoned Sequences & Deleted Scenes
  • The Aurelian Archives – My Gladiator Journal by Spencer Treat Clark
  • And More

* denotes also available on both 4K Ultra HD

DIRECTOR:  Ridley Scott
SCREENWRITERS:  David Franzoni and John Logan and William Nicholson
CAST:  Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, and Richard Harris

Gladiator is now available on 4K Ultra HD.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.