Maximus buries his wife and son; then collapses. Mel Gibson was first offered the role, 6 but declined as he felt he was too old to play the character. A b c Inside the Actors Studio With Russell Crowe (transcript)."Gladiator and Contemporary American Society" (PDF). Retrieved February 21, 2013. Connie Nielsen as Lucilla: Maximus's former lover and the older child of Marcus Aurelius. Commodus is compelled by the crowd to let the gladiators live, and the Praetorian Guard is held back from striking them down. Scott also stated that due to the influence of previous films affecting the public perception of what ancient Rome was like, some historical facts were "too unbelievable" to include. This was superseded by new designs in AD 100.