‘Gladiator 2’: Everything To Know So Far Including The Release Date, Cast, Trailer & More

Nearly twenty-five years have passed since arena-bound Gladiator star Russell Crowe shouted, “Are you not entertained?” Well, Ridley Scott plans on entertaining the original film’s audience (and hopefully, a few new generations, given the cast) with a sequel. Expectations are obviously running high, given that the original was both a box-office smash and an Academy Award success, taking home the Best Picture award with Russell Crowe picking up Best Actor. At the same time, the reality that a sequel is nearly upon us still feels surreal, given that Maximus didn’t make it out of the first film alive.

Ridley Scott, of course, recently finished up directing another historical epic, Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix, who happens to also have portrayed Emperor Commodus in the original Gladiator. That character also didn’t live to see another era of Ancient Rome, but the good news is that there’s a loaded cast for Gladiator 2, which has finished filming, according to the sequel’s star. Here’s what we know about the upcoming blockbuster film.


The events of Gladiator 2 have long been the stuff of legends and rumors, and at one point Nick Cave (yes, that Nick Cave) wrote a fantastical script (detailed by Collider) that would have bought Maximus back in the afterlife. And that wouldn’t have happened simply as a quick ghost cameo but as the main plot point after Maximus awakens in the Roman afterlife, which isn’t as idyllic as he imagined. On an even odder note, he would have been tasked with a long and winding odyssey back in Rome, where the fully-grown Emperor Lucius II would have been as god-awful as his Uncle Commodus.

(Fortunately, this did not happen ^^ even though it sounds like a fun movie to watch under the influence.)

In the actual remake from Ridley Scott, the story will pick up around two decades following the events of the first movie. The story follows Lucius II (Paul Mescal), the adult son of Roman empress Lucilla (the returning Connie Nielsen). In the time between the two films, according to Scott while speaking with Rotten Tomatoes, “He’s been in the wilderness” after having “lost touch with his mother.” When the story picks up, Lucilla believes that her son is dead, and boy, will she be surprised.

Filming has been completed, and is there a tiny chance that Crowe could do the ghost thing in this sequel from Ridley Scott? There’s been zero inkling that this could happen, but Crowe did recently admit to Collider that he was “slightly jealous” of the sequel’s existence. He praised the original film’s enduring legacy while adding, “You don’t always get that kind of longevity with every film you do, so, it obviously holds a special place in my heart.”

Now, don’t get your hopes from that nostalgia, but since the plot of Gladiator 2 is mostly under lock and key, anything could happen. Even ghost city.


How on earth did Paramount go about casting the event-role of Lucius II as an adult? Studio execs Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland witnessed a shirtless Paul Mescal onstage and knew that they had their dude. Via Variety:

To see if Mescal could fill out a toga, Cercek and Ireland watched his performance in the West End revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” “He played Stanley, and there are several moments where he takes off his shirt and it was electric,” Cercek says. “The ladies in the audience were very vocal, and we were like, ‘I think we’ve found our guy.'”

Multiple actors from the first film also reprise their roles for the sequel. That includes Connie Nielsen (as Lucilla), Derek Jacobi (as Senator Gracchus), and Djimon Hounsou (as Juba). We might have been robbed of Barry Keoghan doing shifty, villainous things in Ancient Rome, since (as Deadline reported) he had to drop out for scheduling reasons because he is everywhere else these days. Keoghan departed the role of Emperor Geta, which has been picked up by Fred Hechinger (The White Lotus).

Additionally, the movie stars Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal (who gathered eye-popping arena-battle experience in Game of Thrones) in mystery roles along with May Calamawy and Lior Raz. As for Mescal doing blockbuster leading man duties as Lucius II, he has gone on record to express trepidation of whether his fame will skyrocket following this sequel’s release. Good luck?

Release Date

Gladiator 2 will entertain us in theaters on November 22, 2024, which is the weekend before Thanksgiving. If the sequel is anything like its predecessor in quality, this movie will have long legs through awards season.


The followup film hasn’t yet graced us with a trailer yet, so it’s time to relive the most repeated line of dialogue from Russell Crowe’s career: