Russell Crowe Is Very Entertained By Chocolate Festival’s Incredible (And Edible) Version Of Gladiator’s Maximus Decimus Meridius

 Russell crowe in gladiator.
Russell crowe in gladiator.

Over 20 years later, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator remains arguably Russell Crowe’s most iconic role. Ahead of Gladiator 2’s upcoming release, the actor highlighted an impressive homage to Maximus Decimus that is as random as it is delicious. Crowe’s likeness was just carved out of chocolate for a festival in Malta, and the Oscar-winning actor is ready to take a bite out of it.

Russell Crowe took to his X account to showcase the especially impressive piece of chocolate. Check out a life-size Maximus made out of that delectable material:

Crowe seemed to be dazzled by the unique tribute to his character from Gladiator. As he wrote, “some people get statues made of bronze, some in marble” but he has the great pleasure of being made out of chocolate. As the actor shared, Maximus rose from the dead in a much sweeter form for 2023’s Hamrun Chocolate Festival, which took place this past Saturday in Hamrun, Malta.

It’s a rather popular festival that saw 25,000 people in attendance the year before, which is not a surprise considering it allows its guests to sample many types of chocolates. The 2023 event was the 13th edition of the event, and not the first time life-size sculptures made of chocolate. In the past, Elvis Presley and one of the Minions from the Despicable Me franchise were also created with the popular dessert ingredient.

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Tiziano Cassar was the mastermind behind the sculpture, but one major question remains: how was Maximus eaten? I hope they sent Crowe a chunk of the sculpture to enjoy because I can imagine it would melt over time. It would be rather funny if he got the head in particular.

The original Gladiator was filmed in Fort Ricasoli, Malta, where a replica of a portion of Rome’s Colosseum was built to the height of 52 feet and reportedly cost the production $1 million. The 2001 Best Picture winner was additionally shot in England and Morocco. The second Gladiator movie, which Ridley Scott is directing as well over 20 years later, is also expected to return to Malta for filming, but has currently paused production due to the SAG-AFTRA actors strike.

The Gladiator sequel has a stunning cast led by Paul Mescal as an adult Lucius Verus, a character who was the son of Maximus’ lover Lucilla in the original film. The cast also includes Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, May Calamawy, along with Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi and Djimon Hounsou reprising their roles from the 2000 movie. Crowe is not expected to return due to Maximus’ death in the movie, but yes, he’s “slightly jealous” the sequel is going on without him.

Gladiator 2’s release date is currently among upcoming 2024 movies, but we’ll have to see if its continued delay in production will lead to a release date push. While Crowe’s Maximus may remain a distant memory in the sequel, the actor can now boast having an actual chocolate statue made in honor of the character. Take that, Paul Mescal!