Gladiator II: Scott’s Epic Sequel Brings Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington Into Arena for Battle

Brings Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington Into the Arena for Battle

Ridley Scott directed Paramount’s sequel to his 2000 historical epic that starred Russell Crowe and won 5 Oscar Awards.

Paramount releases the historical drama feature in theaters on November 22.

Starring Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn and Connie Nielsen, the film is director Scott’s follow-up to his 2000 epic Gladiator that starred Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix and earned 5 Oscars, including best picture.

Set several decades after the events of the first movie in ancient Rome, Gladiator II centers on Lucius (Mescal) — the grandson of former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and now the grown-up son of Emperor Commodus — who resides with his family in Numidia. After ending up in slavery following an invasion led by Roman general Marcus Acacius, Lucius follows the inspiration of Maximus (played by Crowe in the original Gladiator) and competes as a gladiator.

Scott directed Gladiator II from a script by David Scarpa. Scott, Lucy Fisher, David Franzoni, Michael Pruss and Douglas Wick serve as producers.

Paramount debuted footage from sequel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas earlier this year, where Scott said in a featurette of the new film, “It is possibly even more extraordinary than the first.” He added that despite arriving more than two decades after Gladiator, the follow-up feature is “well worth the wait.”

Gladiator II is a big swing for Paramount and comes as the studio’s parent company is set to be acquired by consortium led by Skydance.

The sequel’s budget expanded over the course of a shoot that was put on pause last year amid Hollywood’s strikes.

My Oscar Book:

The first Gladiator, which won Best Picture, was the second-highest grossing title of 2000, surpassing $465 million at the global box office ($848 million today).


Mescal is known for his breakout role in the series Normal People,  his Oscar-nominaed role Aftersun, the acclaimed queer indoe All of Us Strangersand Foe.

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