‘Gladiator 2’: All The Details To ‘Entertain’ You About Pedro Pascal’s Return To The Arena (Update For April 2024)

    Rumors about a Gladiator sequel never seemed real until Denzel Washington became set for a “badass” part as directed by Ridley Scott. Yet it’s happening — this year. Ideally, new generations will soon become enthralled with this franchise due to the lead casting of Paul Mescal, who is stepping into the lead sandals once filled by Russell Crowe, who will not be returning as Maximus for obvious reasons. And on the subject of cross-generational appeal, do not overlook the fact that Taylor Swift recently quoted the “Are You Not Entertained?” line to TIME magazine.

    Could this sequel receive Oscar consideration like its predecessor? Well, Godfather II, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Aliens pulled that off, so never say never. Here’s what we know about Scott’s return to Ancient Rome.


    The sequel will pick up two decades after the first movie’s ending and revolve around Lucius II (Mescal), who has been spending his adulthood (via Scott to Rotten Tomatoes) “in the wilderness.” He has not been in touch with his mother, Lucilla (still Connie Nielsen), who has been operating under the assumption that her son is dead. Her discovery otherwise should go well.

    Another notable aspect of this sequel: Pedro Pascal. Remember his early Game of Thrones exit after Oberyn Martell met a devastating end at the hands of The Mountain? Presumably, he will surface in the Colosseum, which will be a welcome sight and perhaps even a callback.

    Would you care for another bit of trivia for fun? In what feels like a previous life, Nick Freaking Cave penned a bizarre script (detailed by Collider) that resurrected Maximus in the Roman afterlife. This would have been the main thrust of the movie, and Maximus would have been obliged to take an odyssey-trip back home to witness how adult Emperor Lucius II was a chip off his late Uncle Commodus’ (Joaquin Phoenix) old block.

    The above paragraph remains fantasy, and the production has been enormously secretive other than word of a CinemaCon teaser revealing that the blood and violence of the original will still ring true. Nowhere in coverage of that teaser have ghosts been reported.


    Paul Mescal earned his Lucius II role the old-fashioned way: by hopping onstage while shirtless for a West End revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. That’s the official word coming down from studio execs Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland.

    From there, Pedro Pascal will hopefully not die in the arena, but if it happens, then it needs to provide as vivid an audience being taken down by The Mountain on Game of Thrones. More new faces for the franchise include Denzel Washington, May Calamawy, and Lior Raz. Reports that Barry Keoghan would be weird in Ancient Rome have given way to a scheduling conflict have given way to news that Fred Hechinger will wear the Emperor Geta’s clothes.

    Several faces from the original movie will also reprise their roles, including Connie Nielsen (as Lucilla), Derek Jacobi (as Senator Gracchus), and Djimon Hounsou (as Juba).

    Release Date

    The weekend before Thanksgiving will be the time to be entertained, since this film arrives on November 22. That should give the movie a prime spot to work towards long legs for the awards season.


    Footage recently surfaced at CinemaCon but hasn’t yet been made available to the public. Until that happens, please enjoy Pedro Pascal talking about how he fell asleep while filming his gory Game of Thrones death. Must have been exhausting.