GLADIATOR
by
David Franzoni
Revised by John Logan
SECOND DRAFT
October 22, 1998






"While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand.
When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall.
And when Rome falls -- the World."
Byron



FADE IN:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Germania. The far reaches of the Roman Empire.

Winter 180 A.D.

Incongruously enough, the first sound we hear is a beautiful tenor voice. Singing. A boy's voice.

CREDITS as we hear the haunting song float through dense forests. We finally come to a rough, muddy road slashing through the forest. On the road a GERMAN PEASANT FATHER is herding along three sickly looking cows. His two SONS are with him. His youngest son sits on one of the cows and sings a soft, plaintive song.

They become aware of another sound behind them on the road -- the creak of wood, the slap of metal on leather. The Father immediately leads his cattle and his sons off the road. They stand-still, eyes down: the familiar posture of subjugated peoples throughout history.

A wagon train rumbles past them. Three ornate wagons followed by a mounted cohort of fifty heavily-armed PRAETORIAN GUARDS.

The young boy dares to glance up at the passing Romans. His eyes burn with hatred.

INT. WAGON - DAY

Mist momentarily obscures a man's face. Frozen breath. The man is in his 20's, imperious and handsome. He is swathed in fur, only his face exposed. He is COMMODUS.

He glances up.

COMMODUS
Do you think he's really dying?

The woman across from him returns his gaze evenly. She is slightly older, beautiful and patrician. A formidable woman.

She is LUCILLA.

LUCILLA
He's been dying for ten years.

COMMODUS
I think he's really dying this time.

A beat. Their breath turns instantly to mist.

COMMODUS
He has to be bled every night now.

LUCILLA
How do you know that?

COMMODUS
I've been so informed.

She arches an eyebrow.

COMMODUS
If he weren't really dying he
wouldn't have sent for us.

LUCILLA
(a smile)
Maybe he just misses us.

COMMODUS
And the Senators. He wouldn't have
summoned them if --

LUCILLA
Peace, Commodus. After two weeks on
the road your incessant scheming is
hurting my head.

A beat.

COMMODUS
The first thing I shall do is honor
him with games worthy of his
majesty.

LUCILLA
The first thing I shall do is have a
hot bath.

The wagon rumbles to a halt. Voices are heard outside.

Commodus leaps out...

EXT. WAGON - OUTPOST - DAY

Three Roman SOLDIERS guard an outpost, a watchtower, on the roadside.

COMMODUS
Why have we stopped?

PRAETORIAN GUARD MEMBER
We're here, sir.

COMMODUS
(to Soldier #1)
Where is my father?

SOLDIER #1
He's at the front, sir.

COMMODUS
Is the battle won?

SOLDIER #1
Don't know, sir. They've been gone
for eight days.

Commodus tosses off his furs -- beneath them he wears a beautiful set of Lorica Segmentata -- the traditional formed armor of Rome. He moves to a horse as:

COMMODUS
(to Soldier #1)
My sister wants a bath, take her to
the camp.
(to Soldier #2)
Take me to my father.

He leaps onto the horse and canters back to the Praetorian Guard unit.

Soldier #2 climbs on his horse and leads them. Commodus rides off with most of the Praetorian Guard unit.

Lucilla peeks her head from the wagon. She glances at the remaining soldiers. Distinctly unpromising.

LUCILLA
(dry)
Civilization at last. Gods preserve
us.

EXT. HILL - TWILIGHT

The mighty catapults dwarf the humans. Soldiers from the elite Felix Regiment -- a legion of the Roman Army -- haul the monstrous machines up a hill.

The commanding General of the Felix Regiment, MAXIMUS, walks between two of the catapults. He is a striking and intense man in his 30's. Like all the soldiers who surround him, he is caked with mud and exhausted.

He trudges up the hill with his two lieutenants, TITUS and QUINTUS.

TITUS
You would do as well to read the
mind of a rhinoceros.

QUINTUS
These barbarians would rather drown
in blood than yield an inch. If I
didn't hate them so much I would
admire them.

They have reached the top of the hill. Stunning martial preparations are underway. The catapults join ten others. Archers are taking up position. Brutal "Scorpions" -- devices for firing multiple crossbow bolts -- are being loaded. Soldiers are also loading the catapults with enormous "Greek fire pots" -- large, round terra cotta pots.

Maximus and his lieutenants gaze down from the hilltop. Below them they can see a German encampment.

TITUS
They simply will not surrender.

A beat as Maximus gazes down at the German position.

MAXIMUS
(quietly)
A people should know when they are
conquered.

A beat.

MAXIMUS
At the first signal release the
catapults. We'll use the cavalry to
cut off the retreat.

QUINTUS
General, I don't recommend that.
Our cavalry might be caught in the
flames.

MAXIMUS
I hope not, because I'm going to be
leading them.

A beat as he gazes down at the enemy.

MAXIMUS
Why don't they know they're already
dead?

EXT. TREES - TWILIGHT

Maximus and Titus are on their horses, the cavalry of two hundred Felix Regiment warriors surrounds them. Steam flares from their horses' nostrils. They wait in a thick stand of trees -- the German position can be seen across a muddy plain.

A large wolf -- "The Wolf of Rome" -- waits at Maximus' side.

Maximus nods to an archer. The archer lights the tip of an arrow and sends it flaming into the night sky.

EXT. HILLTOP - TWILIGHT

Quintus waits. The catapults are loaded and waiting. So too the Scorpions. So too the 200 archers of the Felix Regiment.

He sees the flaming arrow flying up from below.

QUINTUS
Now!

The mighty catapults are released. The Greek fire pots arc dramatically through the air. A moment later soldiers release the Scorpions and hundreds of bolts streak through the sky. The archers fire a murderous barrage of flaming arrows.

EXT. TREES - TWILIGHT

The screaming is almost immediate.

Maximus and his cavalry watch as the fire pots crash down into the German encampment.

EXT. GERMAN CAMP - TWILIGHT

The fire pots shatter -- pitch splashes everywhere -- seconds later the bolts and flaming arrows slice down and ignite the pitch -- FLAME EXPLODES -- it is a hellish, napalm-like vision -- the conflagration illuminating the twilight.

The deadly rain of flaming arrows spreads terror through the German camp --

EXT. TREES - TWILIGHT

Maximus watches the German camp.

MAXIMUS
(to his men)
Hold steady... steady...

He can see the nightmare destruction of the encampment continuing -- fire pots and Scorpion bolts and flaming arrows -- panic in the German encampment.

MAXIMUS
Steady...

He sees the Germans begin fleeing across the plain. He quickly raises his sword and whispers a prayer, then turns to his men:

MAXIMUS
Brothers -- I salute you! For Rome!

He spurs his horse and races out of the trees to the plain...

EXT. PLAIN - BATTLEGROUND - TWILIGHT

Maximus leads the terrifying and relentless cavalry charge -- Titus at his side -- the Felix Regiment screams out fearsome war cries as they gallop across the muddy plain toward the Germans --

Fire pots and flaming arrows are crashing down everywhere around them --

The cavalry SLAMS into the Germans at full gallop --

It is carnage.

The Felix Regiment warriors slash ruthlessly with short swords -- slicing a path of sheer destruction through the Germans -- but the Germans fight with equal brutality -- and the Germans also fight with the desperation of a hopeless last chance -- they pull and spear Roman soldiers off horses whenever they can --

Maximus spins his horse and swings his sword with expert efficiency -- a spear stabs through the neck of his horse and it immediately collapses forward --

Maximus sails over the horse's head and crashes to the muddy ground -- he jumps up and is in the midst of the battle --

The flaming arrows and exploding fire pots create a ferocious inferno everywhere around the battle -- the flames silhouetting the fighting --

On the ground, Maximus proves his absolute worth as a warrior -- he hacks and dodges -- ghastly images of true ancient warfare -- Maximus' eyes burn with a zealous fire as he fights for his life --

He finds he is momentarily at a terrible disadvantage -- Germans are surrounding him from all sides -- as he fights he looks for an advantage -- for his soldiers -- for anything -- he is doomed --

Then -- an almost mystical image -- Maximus' wolf leaps through a wall of flame --

"The Wolf of Rome" savages several Germans around Maximus -- giving him the help he needed.

The wolf and his master fight, side-by-side.

EXT. HILLTOP - TWILIGHT

We see an old man's face, staring down at the battle. The face is weather-beaten, ailing. The roaring flames from the battlefield below flicker in his sad eyes.

MARCUS AURELIUS, the Emperor of Rome, is on a horse. A metal brace extends from the back of his saddle. He is strapped to the brace with thick, leather straps.

He watches as the Felix Regiment below concludes the battle. The cheering of the Regiment can be heard as the final, isolated pockets of Germans are cut down.

Behind Marcus the sun is setting, painting the world blood red.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - SUNSET

Maximus, bloody and spent, walks through the aftermath of the carnage. The Wolf of Rome is at his side. Dead and dying by the hundreds are scattered everywhere. Roman surgeons are attending to the wounded.

Marcus walks to him, embraces him warmly.

MAXIMUS
Caesar.

MARCUS
Maximus, you prove your valor again.
Let us hope for the final time here.

MAXIMUS
I don't think there's anyone left to
fight.

MARCUS
There are always people left to
fight...

Marcus takes Maximus' arm and they walk through the masses of bodies. Maximus holds Marcus' arm firmly, quietly supporting him as they walk.

MARCUS
But this night, at least, Germania
is at last defeated... What will you
do now, my friend?

MAXIMUS
Should Caesar permit, I'll go home.
I've been away too long. I've
forgotten my wife's face and I
barely know my son.

Suddenly, a tethered GERMAN PRISONER they are passing calls out to them:

GERMAN PRISONER
THIS BLOOD MEANS NOTHING, CONQUEROR!

Maximus and Marcus stop. A soldier moves quickly to silence the German Prisoner.

MARCUS
(to Soldier)
Stop...
(to Prisoner)
... You speak our language?

GERMAN PRISONER
You have been in my homeland for
twelve years. Of course I speak
your language. So did my son, who
you murdered. So did my daughter,
who you raped.

MAXIMUS
(to Marcus)
Come, Caesar...

MARCUS
No. Let him speak...
(to Prisoner)
... I am Rome, what would you say to
me?

GERMAN PRISONER
(points to sunset)
You are that sun, Rome, and your
time is over... You can slit a
thousand throats here, and you can
put a thousand babies to the sword,
but it will always be our home.

MARCUS
Now it is Rome.

GERMAN PRISONER
It will never be Rome. Not as long
as one German breathes.

The soldier moves to kill the insolent Prisoner.

MARCUS
No... Release him. Give him safe
passage. Let him go to his family.

The soldier leads the German Prisoner away.

Maximus and Marcus continue walking in silence for a beat. Then:

MARCUS
Tell me again, Maximus, why are we
here?

MAXIMUS
For the glory of the empire, sire.

MARCUS
(quietly)
Yes. I remember.

They continue walking through the mountains of bodies...

EXT. ROAD - SUNSET

Maximus and Marcus are now walking along a road through the dense forest. Slaves follow behind them, leading their horses.

Both sides of the road are filled with the men of the Felix Regiment. As Maximus and Marcus pass, the battered and bloody soldiers drag themselves to their feet, raising their swords, paying silent homage.

MAXIMUS
They honor you, Caesar.

MARCUS
I don't think they're standing for
me, Maximus. They honor you.

Just then Commodus canters into view with his Praetorian Guard escort. He watches the army honor Maximus with rank envy as he nears.

He rides up to Maximus and Marcus.

COMMODUS
Have I missed it?

He leaps from his horse.

COMMODUS
Have I missed the battle?

MARCUS
You've missed the war. We're done
here.

Commodus embraces him, awkward.

COMMODUS
Father. Congratulations. I shall
sacrifice a thousand doves to honor
your triumph.

MARCUS
Spare the doves and honor Maximus,
he won the battle.

Commodus embraces Maximus, even more awkward.

COMMODUS
General, Rome salutes you and I
embrace you as a brother.

MAXIMUS
Highness.

They walk, Maximus still supporting Marcus, as:

COMMODUS
Your Spaniards seem invincible. May
the Gods favor the Felix Regiment
now and always...
(to his father)
Here, Father, take my arm.

MARCUS
(ignores this)
Where's your sister?

COMMODUS
She's at the camp. She had no
desire to see the gore of the
battlefield.

MARCUS
(smiles)
Lucilla would eat every corpse here
if it brought her one step closer to
the throne.

Maximus laughs.

MAXIMUS
(smiles)
Caesar, you do the lady injustice.

MARCUS
It's a foolish old cobra who doesn't
recognize his own off-spring...
(he suddenly stops,
not feeling well)
I think... I should ride now.

Maximus waves for Marcus' horse. It is brought up. Several soldiers carefully help the old man into the saddle. He is then tethered to the brace on his saddle. It is a slow, graceful and embarrassing ordeal for the Emperor of Rome.

When at last he is strapped in, he looks to Maximus.

MARCUS
So much for the glory of Rome.

Without a word to his son, Marcus nods and the horse is slowly lead away.

Commodus and Maximus watch him go.

COMMODUS
(neutral)
He's dying.

A beat.

COMMODUS
Poor old man.

MAXIMUS
(terse)
If you'll excuse me, Highness.

He turns and stalks away.

EXT. TENT CITY - NIGHT

We see the Roman encampment, a sea of tents. Hundreds of campfires burn before the tents.

INT. HOSPITAL TENT - NIGHT

Maximus enters a large tent and is met by a spectacle of the dead and dying. Roman surgeons are working feverishly to save lives. Limbs are amputated, the bloody stumps quickly cauterized with hot irons. Leeches and bronze cups are employed for blood-letting to balance "humours."

Anesthesia as we know it is nonexistent. Wine amphoras are passed around and orderlies fan narcotic smoke toward the patients. Mostly, though, they just hold down the writhing patients.

Maximus moves through the tent, offering a word of comfort here and there. All the wounded are delighted to see him.

He goes to an older soldier, GALLUS, who has one wooden hand. His other hand is bandaged.

MAXIMUS
What, Gallus, losing your other
hand?

GALLUS
Aye, General, they're going to make
a bronze one for it. Long fingers
this time.

MAXIMUS
And the women of your village will
crave your touch even more.

GALLUS
Ah, then you know the women of my
village.

Maximus smiles and moves on.

He stops at a young soldier, VALERIUS, whose head has been shaved. A hole has been bored into his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain. The young soldier is dying.

MAXIMUS
What's your name, son?

VALERIUS
Valerius, General.

MAXIMUS
The name suits you.

VALERIUS
Why am I dying?

A beat. Maximus sits by his cot. He takes Valerius' hand.

MAXIMUS
You're dying because you love Rome,
as I do.

VALERIUS
I've never been to Rome.

MAXIMUS
Neither have I. Rome for us lives
here...
(he touches his
heart)
... it's a thing inside us that came
from our ancestors and that we give
to our children.

VALERIUS
It must be glorious, Rome. I've
only seen pictures. Is it a
glorious place?

A beat.

MAXIMUS
Yes, it's a glorious place.

VALERIUS
It must be.

He smiles. And he is dead.

Maximus sits for a moment. He gently closes Valerius' eyes. And Maximus finds that he is weeping.

He is not ashamed of the tears.

INT. MESS TENT - NIGHT

An immediate swirl of noise. The grand mess tent is crowded with soldiers. They are still filthy with caked-on mud and blood. Wounds are bandaged and tankards are raised in celebration of the victory.

Marcus sits in a central position and receives visitors. Currently two Senators, FALCO and GAIUS, are bowing before him.

FALCO
Hail, Marcus Aurelius.

MARCUS
Stand up, Senators. That unfamiliar
posture doesn't suit you.

GAIUS
We live in supplication to your
glory.

MARCUS
All the while conspiring with that
fat man in Rome. How is the old
monster?

GAIUS
Senator Gracchus is hale, sire.

MARCUS
Still damning me to the four winds?

GAIUS
Still eager for your triumphant
return to Rome, Caesar.

MARCUS
I would have silenced him decades
ago -- but I just like him too much.

Meanwhile, Maximus stands with his lieutenants, Titus and Quintus. A wound on Maximus' arm has been bound.

MAXIMUS
(to Titus)
If you want to stay on, I support
you. So do the men. I'll ask the
Emperor to appoint you in my place.

TITUS
It won't be the Felix Regiment
without you.

MAXIMUS
I'll return after a season at home.
Maybe two.

QUINTUS
That means after three or four more
babies.

TITUS
And you'll be too fat from Vibia's
cooking to get on your horse by
then.

MAXIMUS
Should the Gods so bless me. I
would be thankful.

Commodus perambulates up to them.

COMMODUS
Hail, warriors. My congratulations.

TITUS AND QUINTUS
(bowing)
Highness.

COMMODUS
(to Maximus)
My old friend, my father tells me
you're returning to Spain?

MAXIMUS
Yes.

COMMODUS
A pity. I'll need men like you in
my army...

An awkward glance between the soldiers. This sort of talk is offensively premature.

COMMODUS
There are larger division that might
appeal to you. Even the Praetorian
Guard. You've never been to Rome.
Imagine arriving as head of the
Praetorians! They have really
splendid uniforms.

MAXIMUS
(cold)
I'm going home.

Senators Gaius and Falco join them.

GAIUS
(to Maximus)
... And why not apply for entry to
the Senate?

FALCO
A war hero with a handsome face and
a strong heart could go far.

COMMODUS
General Maximus, may I present
Senators Gaius and Falco. Beware of
this Gaius, he'll pour a honeyed
potion in your ear and you'll wake
up one day and all you'll say is
"Republic, Republic, Republic..."

Laughter.

FALCO
Have you never considered Rome?

MAXIMUS
No.

COMMODUS
You've had my ear since we were
children. You could be a valuable
ally in the Senate.

GAIUS
Are you a believer in Republicanism?

COMMODUS
(laughs)
There -- I warned you.

MAXIMUS
I'm a soldier, not a politician.

Meanwhile, a dark eye is studying the men through a hidden slit in the tent wall. The eye is particularly drawn to Maximus.

GAIUS
If your heart lies with the people,
I would back you for the Senate.
I'm sure Gracchus would as well.

COMMODUS
Not a word about that sodomite
bastard.

GAIUS
(smiles to Maximus)
The august Senator Gracchus has been
rather a gadfly on the flesh of the
imperial family.

FALCO
He's a damned provocateur.

GAIUS
He lives under the antiquated
assumption that the Senate should
represent the people with vigor.

COMMODUS
I won't tolerate it. His incessant
criticism exhausts me. The man can
speak for five hours without taking
a breath.

GAIUS
He serves Rome best when he serves
it with honesty.

COMMODUS
(sharply)
Enough... Maximus, I would like to
inspect the Felix Regiment at dawn.
Please arrange it.

MAXIMUS
I can't do that.

COMMODUS
Excuse me?

MAXIMUS
My men have been fighting for five
solid days. They're too busy dying
to go on dress parade.

A beat. Commodus' eyes flash fire at this public rebuke. He very quickly gets control.

COMMODUS
(smiles)
Of course, how foolish of me. Some
other time...

He notes his father being helped out of the tent by several body slaves.

COMMODUS
Caesar retires early tonight.

INT. TENT CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Marcus is helped out of the mess tent into a tent corridor attached.

He sees his daughter Lucilla in the corridor, spying in through the slit in the tent wall. He watches her, smiles.

MARCUS
If only you had been born a man...

She turns to him. He leaves his body slaves and goes to her.

LUCILLA
Father.

MARCUS
What a Caesar you would have made.

LUCILLA
You're right.

MARCUS
I think you would have been strong.
I wonder if you would have been
just?

LUCILLA
I would have been what you taught me
to be.

A beat. They stare at each other. He finally smiles.

MARCUS
Well, pretend to be my loving
daughter tonight and walk with me to
my chamber.

She smiles and takes his arm. They slowly walk down the tent corridor as:

MARCUS
This is a pleasant fiction, isn't
it?

They disappear into darkness.

EXT. TENT CITY - DAWN

Maximus is slogging through the mud and snow that blankets the Rome camp. He stops to observe an unusual sight.

Commodus is stripped almost naked, his chiseled body covered in a fine sheen of sweat. He and his six CENTURION BODY GUARDS are going through their daily ritual. They defy the sub-zero temperatures and hack at small trees with swords.

It is an eerie, zen-like workout. Commodus' intense concentration is unnerving.

Maximus watches for a moment then moves on. He approaches a large network of tents. He enters.

INT. MARCUS' TENT - DAY

Maximus enters Marcus' darkened tent. Flickering braziers provide the only light in the enormous Imperial tent. Heavy beams support the canopy and they creak like the timbers of a ship as the tent sways slightly in the wind.

Marcus stands before a map of the Roman Empire.

MAXIMUS
(bows)
Caesar.

Marcus holds out a scroll.

MARCUS
Read this.

MAXIMUS
I never acquired the art, sir.

MARCUS
Of course. No matter. In this
letter I denote my intention to
nominate you to stand for the
Emperorship after my death.

A stunned pause. Maximus stares at him.

MARCUS
My son is not a moral man. You have
known this since you were young. He
cannot rule.

MAXIMUS
Caesar, I am honored but --

MARCUS
For twenty years I have been
spilling blood. For twenty years I
have written philosophy and
ruminated and conquered. Since I
became Caesar I have only had four
years without war. Four years of
peace in twenty. So perhaps I can
be... forgiven.

A long beat.

MARCUS
While I have been fighting, Rome has
grown mad and corpulent and
diseased. I did this. And now I
shall make it right.

MAXIMUS
Sire, you brought the light of the
Gods to barbarian darkness. You
brought civilization and justice to
the farthest --

MARCUS
(fierce)
I have brought the sword -- nothing
more! Rome is far away and we
shouldn't be here. What matter is
it to the Gods if we subdue one more
tribe of Parthians or Gauls? What
matter is it to Rome if a thousand
more barbarians bend to our lash?

A beat.

Marcus sits. He doesn't look at Maximus.

A pause.

MARCUS
Winter, Maximus. It's winter now...

A beat.

MARCUS
There was a dream that was Rome. I
can only whisper of it now.
Anything more than a whisper and the
dream vanishes. It's so... fragile.
The true glory of Rome is in a very
fragile idea. Imagine a place
devoted to the rights of the
citizen. Where every free man has a
voice. That was the dream... And I
fear it will not survive the winter.

He holds out a hand to Maximus. Maximus takes his hand, deeply moved, kneeling.

MARCUS
Let's just whisper here, you and I.

MAXIMUS
Yes, Caesar.

MARCUS
If the dream is ever to live again
the people must have a true voice.
The voice I took from them. That
all the Caesars took from them, bit
by bit, conquest by conquest. And
now that I am dying I am going to
give them that voice again.

MAXIMUS
You're not dying.

MARCUS
I am, Maximus. It's strange... I
find as I near the end I think
little of the waning moments around
me... instead I think much of the
past... and of the future. How will
the world speak my name in years to
come? Will I be known as the
philosopher? The warrior? The
tyrant? Or will there be a more
golden sounding to my name? Will I
be the Emperor who gave Rome back
her freedom?

A beat.

MARCUS
Before I die I will give the people
this final gift. I will give them
the Senate reborn. The voice of the
people empowered again, as it was
always meant to be. It is my design
that they will elect the next
Emperor. And I would put forward
your name with my backing.

MAXIMUS
Caesar, you do me honor -- but your
son has pride of place for
succession.

MARCUS
You are the son I should have had...
Although I fear in my deepest heart
that if you had truly been my son my
blood would have polluted you as it
did Commodus. We're a cursed
bloodline. We have lived so long in
power and depravity that we no
longer remember a life without it.
We can no longer even imagine a life
without it.

A beat.

MARCUS
Look at me, son.

Maximus looks at him.

MARCUS
Son... I know that one grove of your
vineyard is worth more to you than
all the treasures of Rome. I know
one loving word from your wife is
worth more than the accolades of an
Empire. But... a fond old man, who
loves you more than he can say, begs
you to at least think about what he
has said tonight.

MAXIMUS
I shall, Caesar.

A beat.

MARCUS
I'll keep this letter to myself. I
hope that with the sunrise you will
agree. And embrace me as a father.

Maximus nods and rises. He begins to go. Stops.

MAXIMUS
You have always been my father.

He goes.

INT. TENT CORRIDOR - DAY

Maximus emerges from Marcus' tent into a long tent corridor, deep in thought.

LUCILLA'S VOICE
He always favored you...

He turns. Lucilla is waiting. She glides to him.

LUCILLA
Even over his son.

MAXIMUS
(turning away)
That's not true.

LUCILLA
Maximus, stop...
(he stops)
Let me see your face.

He turns to her.

LUCILLA
You've been crying.

MAXIMUS
I lost too many men.

LUCILLA
What does my father intend?

He turns and walks. She walks with him.

MAXIMUS
I don't know.

LUCILLA
You're lying. I could tell when you
were lying even when we were
children. You hate it.

MAXIMUS
I never acquired your comfort with
it.

LUCILLA
True. But then you never had to.
Maximus, stop...
(he stops again)
... Is it really so terrible seeing
me again?

MAXIMUS
No. I'm sorry. I'm tired from the
battle.

LUCILLA
And you are hurt to see my father
dying.

A beat.

LUCILLA
He will announce Commodus'
succession. That's why he summoned
us. Will you serve my brother as
you served his father?

MAXIMUS
I will always serve the ideals of
Rome.

A beat.

LUCILLA
Do you know I still remember you in
my prayers...? Oh yes, I pray...
Ever since that day you saved me
from drowning off Capri. Do you
remember?

MAXIMUS
Yes.

LUCILLA
Commodus was so angry that a mere
peasant -- a Spaniard no less --
touched the royal person, do you
remember his anger?

MAXIMUS
Yes.

LUCILLA
Mark this, Maximus: that is the man
who will be Emperor.

A beat.

MAXIMUS
May I be permitted to go, Highness?

She smiles sadly.

LUCILLA
There was a time when you didn't
call me "Highness."

MAXIMUS
And there was a time when you were
just a little girl drowning in the
sea. All that was a different life.

LUCILLA
(quietly)
Very different... I wonder if it was
better?

MAXIMUS
It was more honest.

A moment between them. We sense there is much to be said, much that could be said.

Finally:

MAXIMUS
I thank you for your prayers.

He goes. She watches him walk away.