Russell Crowe portrayed Maximus Meridias, a Roman general that has been named as the keeper of Rome and its empire by Emperor Marcus Aurelius thus, giving him the privilege to be his successor. However, the emperor was killed by his power-hungry jealous son Commodus and later orders the death of Maximus. Fortunately, Maximus managed to escape but was captured by slave traders and was sent to North Africa. He ends up being a slave and was forced to be a gladiator. With the twist of fate happened to Maximus, he remained strong and hopeful that he might someday fulfill the wish of the late emperor. As a victorious gladiator, he was sent back to Rome to participate in the Gladiatorial Games (a battle to death of the most famous gladiators) in which he had plans of taking revenge and gain his freedom against the man who took away his family and the good things he once have.