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Gladiator II: Everything You Need to Know

12/20/2023 • 2 min read

(Updated 07/09/2024)Gladiator II | Cinemark

After more than 20 years, filmmaker Ridley Scott is going back to ancient Rome. The director has toyed with a sequel to his mega-hit GLADIATOR for many years. In 2022 a story finally came together, and Scott began to assemble the movie in rapid fashion even as he worked on NAPOLEON.

GLADIATOR II has finished filming, and is set for a Thanksgiving release this year. Here's everything you need to know about Ridley Scott's long-awaited GLADIATOR sequel, including the stunning first trailer.

When Does Gladiator II Come Out?

Paramount Pictures has set November 22, 2024 as the release date for GLADIATOR II. It'll be out in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Watch the First Trailer for Gladiator II

OK, first off, that looks incredible! And second, because it's something people have already made a big deal about, this movie will almost certainly not have a hip-hop soundtrack. The song choice here is a great one to sell the movie as spectacle and entertainment even as Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, and the rest of the cast are shown off in spectacular fashion.

What's the Gladiator II Trailer Song?

The first trailer for GLADIATOR II uses "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye West, released in 2011. The lyrics, which include lines like "Blood stains the Coliseum doors" and "Human beings in a mob / What's a mob to a king? / What's a king to a God? / What's a God to a non-believer / Who don't believe in anything? / Will he make it out alive?" make it easy to understand why the team that put this trailer together chose the song.

Is Russell Crowe in Gladiator II?

Let's get this question out of the way: Russell Crowe, who won the Best Actor Oscar for the first movie, is not in GLADIATOR II. That is, at least based on current reports. The trailer features old footage fashioned into a flashback, but we don't know if that will be in the final movie. And we do not expect to see new scenes featuring Crowe as Maximus.

What Is Gladiator II About?

GLADIATOR II is about Lucius Verus, the son of Connie Nielsen's character, Lucilla, from GLADIATOR. As a young man, Verus looked at Maximus like a hero, but accidentally let slip details of a plan to return Maximus to power. Ultimately, Maximus saves Lucius from Commodus, and the boy flees Rome.

Scott has said that Lucius has spent the 15 years following GLADIATOR living on his own "in the wilderness," and is presumed dead by his mother. When he returns to Rome, things have changed in significant ways. That is unless you're Ridley Scott or his screenwriter, David Scarpa, who also wrote Scott's film ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.

Who's in the Cast of Gladiator II?

Rising star Paul Mescal (AFTERSUN, ALL OF US STRANGERS) plays Lucius Verus. Opposite Mescal is Denzel Washington, as a former slave who has made a new life as a war-minded merchant. He has no love for the Emperors, Caracalla (Joseph Quinn) and Geta (Fred Hechinger). And Pedro Pascal co-stars as the Roman general Marcus Acacius, who has close connections to Maximus.

Connie Nielsen returns as Lucilla, the mother of Lucius, and Derek Jacobi is back to reprise his GLADIATOR role of Roman Senator Gracchus.

The cast also features May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas. At this point we do not know anything about their roles.


GLADIATOR II opens in November.


All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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