Gladiator 2

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Gladiator 2 Cast News

It has been 23 years since Ridley Scott’s Academy Award-winning Gladiator carved its way into movie theaters with Russell Crowe’s Maximus taking center stage. It has also been 23 years since the talks of making Gladiator 2 began. Now, 2+ decades later, we are still talking about Gladiator 2, but this time, the movie is a full go and we have plenty of news about the long-awaited sequel to pass along.

Paul Mescal Is The Gladiator 2 Star

For a while there, it appeared that MCU’s Thor, Chris Hemsworth, might be headlining the Gladiator sequel. Hemsworth made quick friends with Russell Crowe on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder and at the suggestion of Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky, both Crowe and Chris began talking about a possible collaboration on a sequel.

For whatever reason, this pairing never came to fruition as Ridley Scott finally got serious about directing the film and went about looking for his own stars to fit the bill.

In one of the most sought-after roles Hollywood had seen in some time, Paul Mescal landed the part as Lucius, the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen). You may recall that in the first film, the young Lucius was played by Spencer Treat Clark. Now, Mescal steps into the sandals left vacated by Crowe in what is shaping up to be another epic Ridley Scott film.

Denzel Washington And Others Will Be in Gladiator 2

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Let’s start with those from the first Gladiator who are already set to return. The first would be Connie Nielsen, who played Lucius’s mother (and Commodus’s sister) Lucilla in the first film. Prior to her officially being brought on and during the COVID pandemic, Nielsen had talked to Entertainment Weekly about the prospects of her return in a sequel.

“So, we did hear from the producers. I think it’s just a question of which film is coming first in Ridley’s very tight schedule. And then I think it’s a question of COVID and can we get back to work. But I would be interested in doing [the film], for sure. I mean, it’s obviously a wonderful project, so of course I would be interested.” Good news, Ridley Scott is bringing her back.

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Another actor back for more action is Derek Jacobi, who played Senator Gracchus in the first film. There is no word on how big a part he will play, but it will be nice to see his familiar face once again.

There is one last actor from the first film who we can’t wait to see reprise his role and that is Djimon Hounsou. In the first film, Hounsou played Juba, a gladiator and friend to Crowe’s Maximus, and one expected to be a possible mentor to Lucius. Now, let’s get to some of the new faces.

Of course, the biggest name to come from Ridley Scott’s new cast of characters would be two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington. He and Scott worked previously, 16 years ago, on the crime drama American Gangster and had vowed to work together again. This will finally come to fruition with Gladiator 2. There is no word on who Washington will play, but Scott would not have asked Washington to join the cast if it were not a juicy role. Ironically, Russell Crowe starred with Washington in Scott’s American Gangster.

Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan was slated to also appear in the sequel as Emperor Geta but his schedule ended up being in conflict with a prior movie he was signed on for, so Keoghan had to drop out. In his stead now is Fred Hechinger, who will also be starring in the upcoming Spider-Man universe film, Kraven the Hunter.

Another big name to join the cast is Stranger Thing’s Joseph Quinn. He will appear as Emperor Caracalla, though what part Scott has in mind for Quinn’s character to play in the machinations of the Roman Empire is unknown.

Moon Night’s May Calamawy will also be joining the cast. Although the name of her character has not yet been revealed, it is said that she will be the female lead in the Gladiator sequel. Finally, the last big name to join Scott’s sequel is The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal. Like Washington’s character, Pascal’s character is also being kept under lock and key until the time is right.

Ridley Scott is Directing a Script by David Scarpa

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Scribe David Scarpa was not the first writer to tackle the script for Gladiator 2, but he is the last. Peter Craig had penned an earlier version, but Scarpa penned a different version and takes the writing credit for it. Prior to Gladiator 2, Scarpa has written features such as The Last Castle, The Day the Earth Stood Still, All the Money in the World, and most recently wrote Napoleon for Ridley Scott.

Do We Know the Plot of Gladiator 2?


Ridley Scott has not divulged one bit of information about the direction of his sequel. In the past, the ideas floated, including ones by the director himself, revolved around somehow bringing Crowe’s Maximus back from the dead. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that will be the case, though bringing Crowe in for a dream sequence cameo would be a fun touch. The thing we do know is that the story will pick up 25 years after Maximus has died.

What Does Russell Crowe Think of the Sequel?


Speaking of Russell Crowe, it seems the prolific actor is fairly fed up with questions about the sequel being asked of him. He recently spoke to journalists at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was very salty. “They should be fucking paying me for the amount of questions I am asked about a film I am not even in,” Crowe said via Variety. “It has nothing to do with me. In that world, I am dead. Six feet under. But I do admit to a certain tinge of jealousy, because it reminds me of when I was younger and what it meant for me, in my life.”

He continued, easing up just a bit. “I don’t know anything about the cast, I don’t know anything about the plot. I am dead! But I know that if Ridley has decided to do a second part of the story, over 20 years later, he must have had very strong reasons. I can’t think of this movie being anything other than spectacular.”

Napoleon Comes First

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Ridley Scott has been talking about Gladiator 2 for years, pretty much since the film won the Best Picture Academy Award. For whatever reason, it has taken 23 years to get the cameras rolling on it though it could have come a bit sooner if it wasn’t for another massive epic film Scott has been involved with. Napoleon, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the height-challenged French ruler, needed to be completed before Scott could turn his full attention to directing Gladiator 2. Now that Napoleon is in the can, so to speak, Scott can focus solely on the sequel.

Filming Started But Then That Damned Strike

It’s not that the Writer’s and Actor’s strike is a bad thing, per se, they do deserve to get what they feel is rightfully theirs, but it’s the timing of the strike that has thrown so many productions into turmoil. Gladiator 2 falls right into that mix.

The film was right in the middle of shooting a very complex battle scene in Malta when Scott had to pull the plug on the film, sending all the actors home. It was news that didn’t sit well with the over 400 employed on the Malta set, many who were needing the job to pay their bills.

Gladiator 2 Has An Official Release Date

With all of this good news surrounding Gladiator 2, there is even a little more to share. Gladiator 2 has an official release date. Though, to be honest, we are not sure if this date will move since the film is being held up for the SAG strike. Be that as it may, Paramount Pictures has given the film a November 22, 2024, release date. Fingers crossed they are able to keep it as it comes right before the holiday season.

Gladiator Won Oscars For Best Picture And Best Actor


Russell Crowe and company are credited with reviving the swords and sandals genre. The massive 2000 hit Gladiator was a wonderful example of brilliant storytelling, action, adventure, gore, and love. So of course there’s still interest in Gladiator 2.

It starred Crowe as Maximus, a General who has had many victories on the battlefield. He is on his way home after another impressive victory, intending to live a quiet life with his wife and son. Upon his return, Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who considers Maximus like a son, tells him that his own son Commodus (played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix), is unfit to rule. Aurelius’ wish is to have Maximus fill his shoes, save Roma and restore the Roman Empire.

Little do they know, Commodus hears this plan. Commodus then takes it into his own hands and kills his father. He then asks Maximus for his loyalty, which Maximus refuses. Maximus is arrested but is able to escape and get to his home, where he finds his wife and son murdered. Crowe’s adventure as Maximus then turns to slave, then to gladiator, then to revenge.

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