Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Preview:

  • The first pictures from ‘Gladiator II’ are online.
  • Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal and Connie Nielsen are among the cast.
  • Ridley Scott directed the sequel to his 2000 epic.

Though we’ve gotten used to legacy sequels landing years, sometimes decades after the original movie (Netflix’s ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ is one recent example), it’s less common for the original director to return 24 years later. But few directors are as driven or influential as Ridley Scott, who at 86 is still making giant movies at an impressive rate.

And that brings us to ‘Gladiator II’, which follows up the swords and sandals epic of 2000. While the original starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, a general who is betrayed by a scheming emperor’s son (Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus) when the ruler favors Maximus as his heir.

Maximus ends up a gladiator in the arena, fighting for his life. A fateful showdown with Commodus sees both men dead by the end of the movie.

Yet writer David Scarpa and Scott have found a way to continue the story through Commodus’ sister Lucilla (with Connie Nielsen reprising her role) and her son Lucius.

Gladiator II

"Prepare to be entertained."
Not Yet RatedNov 22nd, 2024

Years after witnessing the death of the revered hero Maximus at the hands of his uncle, Lucius is forced to enter the Colosseum after his home is conquered by the... Read the Plot

What’s the story of ‘Gladiator II’?

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Scott’s sequel is set decades after the original film. Lucilla dispatched Lucius (who in adult form is played by ‘Normal People’ and ‘Aftersun’s Paul Mescal) to the African region of Numidia, where he has grown up feeling resentful of his mother for sending him away.

Her reasons were to secure his safety –– Numidia is beyond the grasp of Rome. But as Lucius has raised his own family, his safety is put under threat when Rome decides to invade Numidia.

Returned to his birthplace as a slave and then a gladiator, Lucius must confront his past and secure his future.

Who else is in ‘Gladiator II’?

Pedro Pascal plays Marcus Acacius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Pedro Pascal plays Marcus Acacius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

The movie also features Pedro Pascal as Acacius, the Roman General who leads the assault on Numidia, and who ends up clashing with Lucius back in Rome –– oh, and he’s also in love with Lucilla.

Denzel Washington plays Macrinus in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Denzel Washington plays Macrinus in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Denzel Washington, who worked with Scott on ‘American Gangster’, is Macrinus, an arms dealer who supplies food for the armies in Europe, including wine and oil and makes steel, spears, weapons, cannons, and catapults. He is a very wealthy man who rides a golden chariot.

Fred Hechinger plays Emperor Caracalla in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Fred Hechinger plays Emperor Caracalla in Gladiator II from Paramount Pictures.

Then we have Fred Hechinger as Emperor Caracalla and Joseph Quinn as Emperor Geta, two relatively young brothers who rule the crumbling Roman Empire and are described as damaged goods from birth, cruel and vain.

Related Article: Pedro Pascal is Ridley Scott’s Latest Recruit for the ‘Gladiator’ Sequel

‘Gladiator II’: Paul Mescal talks the story

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Here’s what Mescal told Vanity Fair about the themes of the movie:

“What human beings will do to survive, but also what human beings will do to win. We see that in the arena, but also in the political struggle that’s going on outside of my character’s storyline, where you see there’s other characters striving and pulling for power. Where’s the space for humanity? Where’s the space for love, familial connection? And ultimately, will those things overcome this kind of greed and power? Those things are oftentimes directly in conflict with each other.”

‘Gladiator II’: Connie Nielsen on reuniting with Ridley Scott

Connie Nielsen plays Lucilla in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Connie Nielsen plays Lucilla in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Nielsen enthused about the director:

“Ridley’s process tends to be extremely collaborative. “He is extremely open to suggestions and ideas, which is what makes him a dream director in that way. He hears you, he sees you, and I, for one, come up every morning with my list of ideas that I run by him. He will go, ‘Yes, interesting…okay.…no, that’s way too much.…yep.’ I know that I’ll get some things through. And then there are things where he follows his instinct about the movie that he’s wanting to make.”

When will ‘Gladiator II’ be in theaters?

Paramount will release the sequel on November 22nd.

Director Ridley Scott and Paul Mescal on the set of 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Director Ridley Scott and Paul Mescal on the set of 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Joseph Quinn plays Emperor Geta in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Joseph Quinn plays Emperor Geta in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius and Alexander Karim plays Ravi in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Paul Mescal plays Lucius and Alexander Karim plays Ravi in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius and Pedro Pascal plays Marcus Acacius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Paul Mescal plays Lucius and Pedro Pascal plays Marcus Acacius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II' from Paramount Pictures.

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