Iginio Straffi is the director, writer and creator of Gladiators of Rome. He is also the creator of Winx Club and Huntik.

He and Michael J. Wilson (creator of the Ice Age franchise) developed the movie over a five-year period, ending in its release in 2012. It was animated by Straffi's production company, Rainbow CGI.

Straffi had high hopes for Gladiators, but it was a financial failure at the box office. The effects of Gladiators bombing were drastic and resulted in Rainbow taking some significant cost-cutting measures on its Winx Club series. For the seventh season of Winx in 2014, Rainbow and Viacom replaced the previous Hollywood-based voice cast and got rid of the CGI segments, both of which had been the most expensive parts of the previous two seasons.

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