In the 12 months a hundred and eighty, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus is one of the Roman army's most succesful and relied on generals and a key consultant to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus ascends to the throne, Maximus is set to be finished. He escapes, but is captured by slave investors. Renamed Spaniard and forced to grow to be a gladiator, Maximus have to battle to the death with other guys for the entertainment of paying audiences.