Modeled after a historic gladiatorial circus in Jerusalem, this dense, functioning arena helped make William Wyler's Roman epic a film legend. The Colosseum covers 18 acres, including a 1,500-foot racetrack covered in 36,000 tons of sand shipped from the Mediterranean, and took about a thousand workers to stone-carve over the course of a year. It cost a solid million to build in 1959, which is about $7.5 million in 2012 money.
For 22 years, Brandon was a fat kid living in Tucson, AZ, which gave him lots and lots of time to write. He now works at a magazine in New York City, but still loves writing almost as much as he loves muffins.