Everything we know about Gladiator 2 so far
A Gladiator sequel is coming — are you not entertained?
The film follows the critically-acclaimed 2000 blockbuster that starred Russell Crowe as a Roman general who's betrayed and sold into slavery — and subsequently forced into being a gladiator — by the corrupt emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Gladiator went on to earn over $460 million worldwide and was nominated for 12 Academy Awards — ultimately winning five, including Best Picture and Best Actor. So its follow-up has big sandals to fill.
As we prepare to enter the arena once more, EW is gathering all of the intel. From who is once more donning togas or picking up the sword, to who is directing, producing, and more, here's everything we know so far about Gladiator 2.
What's the title?
Thus far, it doesn't. At least, not one that's been made public. Paramount Pictures has referred to it as the Untitled Gladiator Sequel. For now, it's safe to call it simply Gladiator 2 or the Gladiator sequel.
Who is starring in the film?
Karwai Tang/WireImage; Rich Fury/Getty Images; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, and Connie Nielsen
Aftersun star Paul Mescal will be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla and nephew of Commodus, who was first played by a young Spencer Treat Clark in the original film. Connie Nielsen is returning as a legacy cast member in her original role as Lucilla. (Nielsen's return comes after she previously teased the film's progress and expressed her desire to reprise her role in a 2020 interview with EW.)
Another legacy cast member, Derek Jacobi, is returning to play the role of Gracchus once more. Stranger Things breakout Joseph Quinn is set to play Emperor Caracalla.
There are several other stars attached to the film whose roles are being kept under wraps for now. This includes Denzel Washington, May Calamawy (Moon Knight, Ramy), Lior Raz (Operation Finale), Peter Mensah (Avatar), and Matt Lucas (Wonka, Bridesmaids). Ditto for The Last of Us and The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal.
Additionally, Fred Hechinger (Kraven, The White Lotus) is in negotiations to play Emperor Geta, a role for which Barry Keoghan was previously in talks, but will no longer be playing due to scheduling conflicts.
What about Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix?
Universal/Getty Images Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'
Spoiler alert! In the first film, Crowe's Maximus baited Commodus into the colosseum arena and killed him, and then died from wounds he sustained in the battle. Given that they both made their way to the afterlife, it's highly unlikely they'd appear in this one, at least alive.
Crowe has made it sound like he's not involved yet. The actor previously told Collider of the project, "The only thing that I really feel about it is slightly jealous, you know?"
This being Hollywood, though, a ghostly cameo or flashback is never out of the realm of possibility. Remember Maximus' famous dying words: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity."
Is Ridley Scott returning to direct?
Yes. Scott, who received a Best Director Oscar nod for the film, will be directing the sequel. He is also producing with Michael Pruss through production company Scott Free, Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher through Red Wagon Entertainment, and David Franzoni. Raymond Kirk and Nigel Wooll are executive producing.
Several other artists who brought the original Gladiator to life are returning to Scott's sequel, as well. This includes cinematographer John Mathieson, production designer Arthur Max, and costume designer Janty Yates.
Who is writing the screenplay?
While David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson penned the first film, this time around David Scarpa is writing the script. Scarpa is known for The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Man in the High Castle, as well as a few other projects that teamed him up with Scott — All the Money in the World and the forthcoming Napoleon.
Is there a trailer or footage?
Not yet, but stay tuned.
When does it come out?
The Gladiator sequel is currently slated for release in theaters on November 22, 2024.
This article will be updated as more information is announced.
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