One thing leads to the other

Loyalty, betrayal, justice, revenge... Nick Cave has made a movie out of his favourite themes. But is the world ready for his brutal Australian western?

Four years ago, Nick Cave received an intriguing request from Russell Crowe. The actor wanted him to write a draft screenplay for Gladiator II. Although Cave found the writing process "hugely enjoyable", Crowe and director Ridley Scott decided they had better look elsewhere.
"Luckily, it was so completely unacceptable they didn't even ask me to do rewrites," says Cave, with a kind of amused pride. "It wasn't makeable." Why not? "I wanted to write an anti-war film and use Gladiator as a raging war machine. He died in the first one so he comes back as the eternal warrior. It ended up in Vietnam and the Pentagon." He shrugs his spindly shoulders. "It was just this really wacked-out script."

Sadly we do not live in a world where a Hollywood studio is willing to risk a multi-million dollar franchise on the wilder imaginings of a moonlighting songwriter, but at least one of Cave's scripts has made it to the screen, a savagely brilliant outback drama called The Proposition.


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