Gladiator II Keeps Looking Better And Better

By Britta DeVore | Updated

gladiator ii

The moment so many of us have been waiting for has almost arrived as Gladiator II prepares to circle its chariots and roll into cinemas on November 22. But before we see Paul Mescal pick up a sword and get to entertaining the crowd in feature-length form, there must first be promotional material, the likes of which are finally starting to drop. Today, on the eve of the movie’s first trailer reveal, audiences are treated to a brand new poster and a set of images that put the focus on the movie’s main characters. 

The Poster

gladiator ii

Echoing the movie that came before, the poster features Paul Mescal’s character in the Colosseum, hunched on the ground and rubbing the sand and dirt between his hands.

This image is a direct parallel to the first movie which saw Russell Crowe’s Maximus do the same cleansing motion both before duels to the death in Rome as well as on the battlefield in his life prior to becoming a gladiator.

The bottom of the poster teases Gladiator II’s theatrical release, which will also be presented in IMAX format for those audiences who really want to feel like they’re in the ring with whatever the Emperors will throw at their champions this time around.

Gladiator II

Paul Mescal’s character, Lucius, is at the center of many of these first-look images, which see him much more ripped than where we left him in Gladiator. The story of Gladiator II picks up years following Maximus’ revolt against the evil Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) who was the uncle to the young Lucius.

All of these years later, Lucius, who has long been presumed dead by his mother, Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), returns to Rome and finds himself fighting for his life in the ring.

Mescal Got Prepared

To prepare for the role of the to-the-death fighter in Gladiator II, Paul Mescal got absolutely ripped at the gym, presumably drinking tons of protein shakes and leaning into a carnivorous diet.

All his hard work and dedication can be seen in each of his featured pictures as his biceps bulge from under his vest of armor and his thighs seemingly burst from his leather gladiator kilt.

Sweat and blood run down from his forehead in one image, while another depicts him holding a torch in a dark corridor and looking at the gear of gladiators that came before him. 

Pedro Pascal

Along with Mescal, audiences are also stoked to see The Last of Us and Fantastic Four star Pedro Pascal return to the big screen in Gladiator II. Drumming up memories of his gone-too-soon Game of Thrones character, Oberyn Martell, Pascal can be seen donning military armor in his close-up with another shot capturing a tense, blade-crossing moment between him and Mescal.

Pascal’s character, Marcus Acacius, also has ties to the original film (although he’s brand-new to the Gladiator universe), as he previously trained under Crowe’s Maximus.

The Rest Of The Cast

The photo slate also features peeks at fellow newcomers including Denzel Washington as Macrinus, a man who has made his wealth from the business of gladiators as well as Joseph Quinn and Fred Hechinger as co-emperor’s Geta and Caracalla, respectively whose thirst for power will bring Rome to its knees.

Finally, Nielsen makes her return in a shot for Gladiator II, with the actress reprising her role as Lucilla.

Filmmaker Ridley Scott also makes an appearance in a behind-the-scenes image for Gladiator II, which features him standing next to Mescal in between shots.

From what the director has told audiences, fans are in for another historical epic on the grandiose scale that the Napoleon, Alien, and Blade Runner helmer has long been known for.