- Gladiator 2 will star Paul Mescal.
- The sequel will be released in 2024.
- Pedro Pascal is reportedly joining the cast.
It’s been over 20 years since the monumental success of Gladiator, and we’re now getting a sequel. Gladiator 2 is shaping up to be the definition of epic. Director Ridley Scott is returning to explore more of the Gladiator story, and the cast features some of Hollywood’s most talented breakout stars. Arguably the biggest star in the world right now — Pedro Pascal — is in final negotiations to join the cast.
The first Gladiator made a whopping $503.2 million at the box office after its release in 2000. The film went on to win 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe.
Gladiator 2 will be here before you know it. The sequel already has a release date. HollywoodLife has rounded up all the latest updates about Gladiator 2, including the movie’s all-star cast and who they’re playing.
Is Maximus In Gladiator 2?
Let’s get one thing straight: Maximus is not expected to return in Gladiator 2. Russell Crowe played Maximus in the 2000 film, and the role cemented him as one of Hollywood’s top stars. As fans will recall, Maximus dies at the end of Gladiator. Unless Maximus returned as a ghost, there’s not really an opportunity to bring back Maximus.
Russell recently addressed the possibility of Maximus’ return in Gladiator 2. “I’m sure at some point in time they’ll want to ask me about something, but they haven’t brought anything up in a while,” the Oscar winner told The Ryan Tubridy Show in March 2023. “It’s an extension of the narrative, but it is long beyond Maximus’ passing, so it doesn’t really involve me at all. I hear that young fella Paul [Mescal] is a good dude and I wish him the best of luck with it. I think where they’re picking the story up from, a young Lucius, stepping into the role of emperor. I think that’s a very smart idea within the world of the film that we created.”
In another interview, Russell revealed that he had spoken to director Ridley Scott about the storyline for Gladiator 2. “I know roughly how he’s shaping the story,” Russell told the Fitzy & Wippa Podcast. “But yeah, if you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to the ‘My name is’ speech. So that young kid has grown up, and he’s now the Emperor. I don’t know what else happens at that point, so that’s the idea. So it’s not a remake. And it’s not a direct sequel. It’s not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something.”
He also admitted to Collider that he’s “slightly jealous” about the sequel. “Because I was a much younger man, obviously, and it was a huge experience in my life. It’s something that changed my life, really. It changed the way people regarded me and what I do for a living, and, you know, I’ve been very lucky to be involved in lots of big movies, but the legs on that film are incredible.”
Gladiator 2 Cast
The Gladiator sequel has become one of the top projects in Hollywood. You’re probably wondering: who is playing Lucius in Gladiator 2? Who is returning from the first film? Let’s break down the cast so far:
Paul Mescal is Lucius
Normal People breakout star and Oscar nominee Paul Mescal will play the adult version of Lucius Verus in Gladiator 2. The sequel revolves around his character about 30 years after the final events of Gladiator. Lucius is the son of Lucilla and Commodus’ nephew. The role of young Lucius was played by Spencer Treat Clark in the 2000 film.
Connie Nielsen is Lucilla
Connie Nielsen is set to return as Lucilla in Gladiator 2, Deadline reports. Connie notably played the role of Lucilla in the 2000 film. She is the mother of Lucius and sister to Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix. She was also Maximus’ former lover.
Djimon Hounsou is Juba
Djimon Hounsou is also expected to reprise the role of Juba in the Gladiator sequel. Juba was Maximus’ closest friend and ally in the first film.
Joseph Quinn is Emperor Caracalla
Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn is in negotiations to play Emperor Caracalla in Gladiator 2, according to Deadline. The role of Emperor Caracalla will be a key role in the sequel. Caracalla was known for being a tyrant during his rule.
Barry Keoghan is Emperor Geta
Back in March 2023, Variety reported that the Oscar nominee was in talks to join the sequel as Emperor Geta. Geta is the younger brother of Caracalla. Caracalla infamously has his brother murdered.
Denzel Washington is also set to star in Gladiator 2. His role is being kept top secret. Deadline reported that Ridley Scott wrote Denzel’s role with the Oscar winner in mind. Denzel was reportedly “excited” about “the badass role” after reading the script.
On May 1, Deadline reported that Pedro Pascal is joining the cast of Gladiator 2, which he’ll film during his Last Of Us hiatus. Details about his role are currently unknown.
Gladiator 2 Release Date
Gladiator 2 already has a release date of November 24, 2024. The film’s release will be 24 years after the first film hit theaters.
Gladiator 2 will start filming soon, likely in May or early June 2023. Production was pushed so Paul Mescal could continue playing Stanley Kowalski in the critically-acclaimed stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire for 6 weeks when it transferred to West End on March 20, according to Deadline.
In February 2023, Paul told Deadline that Gladiator 2 would film in the summer. “In the summer. I’m not sure when the exact start date is but soon,” he said.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) February 19, 2023
A Gladiator sequel has been gestating for years now, and director Ridley Scott has been planning ahead. “I’m already having [the next] Gladiator written now,” the director told Empire back in 2021. “So when I’ve done Napoleon, Gladiator will be ready to go.” Ridley’s Napoleon movie reunites him with Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix.