Early Gladiator 2 footage has reportedly blown studio executives away

 Paul Mescal in Carmen.
Paul Mescal in Carmen.

Gladiator 2 has got some glowing early praise according to new reports. Ridley Scott’s epic historical sequel recently wrapped filming, and Deadline suggests that studio executives have been "blown away" by what they’ve seen so far.

The film will take place over 20 years after the first film, following Paul Mescal as Lucius Verus, the son of Empress Lucilla (Connie Nielsen). While an official plot has yet to be released, Scott told Rotten Tomatoes that we’ll meet Lucius as a man living "in the wilderness", having last seen his family 15 years prior.

Alongside Mescal, the movie also stars Denzel Washington as a wealthy arms dealer, Joseph Quinn as co-emperor Caracalla, and Fred Hechinger as co-emperor Geta. Pedro Pascal, Moon Knight’s May Calamawy, and Derek Jacobi all also star.

Speaking to Total Film last year, Scott spoke about casting Aftersun’s Mescal in the lead role. "Can I see Paul Mescal being as big as Russell Crowe? For sure," he said. "I watched Normal People. It’s not my kind of show but I saw four episodes in a row – boom, boom, boom. I was thinking, 'Who the hell is this Paul Mescal?' And then I watched the whole series. And then, suddenly, Gladiator 2 came up, because the script was working pretty well. And I kept thinking about Paul. And that was it."

Scott has already lined up his next project too, with Deadline also reporting that he’s in talks to direct an untitled Bee Gees movie. His latest movie, Napoleon, will soon be released on Apple TV Plus as well.

For more upcoming movies, here are the 2024 movie release dates you need to know about.