'You Gotta Know Where To F--king Put ’Em’: Gladiator 2’s Joseph Quinn Talks Ridley Scott And His Wild Camerawork On Set

 Joseph Quinn in Overlord.
Credit: Paramount

Gladiator II has been a film very long in the making, but now it is almost here. While director Ridley Scott had been talking about a follow-up for decades we didn’t really know if we’d ever see it, but now we know just how serious Scott was, as Joseph Quinn has talked about what the set was like and the director’s wild camerawork.

In an interview with GQ, Joseph Quinn, who plays Emperor Caracalla in the Gladiator II cast, says that he only found out about the movie as he was finishing filming A Quiet Place: Day One, but what he heard made him want to be part of the project. He explained…

I just really wanted to be involved. Then I heard that Paul [Mescal] was doing it, and Denzel Washington was doing it, and they were really trying to do it right.

From all accounts, working with Ridley Scott has to be a pretty intense experience. Joseph Quinn has talked about how wild the production was but the actor is clearly impressed with the director. At one point there were apparently as many as eight cameras running simultaneously. It’s hard to imagine most directors being capable of managing something like that, but Quinn was impressed with Scott’s ability to do so. He said…

I was like, ‘Eight cameras?’ And he’s like ‘You gotta know where to fucking put ’em.’ Clearly he does. Watching that puzzle, watching him harness all those pieces and put them together was fascinating, truly.

You certainly do need to know where to put them. With that many cameras, it’s about not only aiming them at whatever they need to be filming but making sure none of them get in the way of the others. I’m honestly having difficulty figuring out how you put eight cameras in the same space and avoid having one of them accidentally get another camera in its shot.

And yet, apparently, it all worked out. We’ll have to see what happens with the end result when the Gladiator II release date arrives in November, but there doesn’t seem to be much question that the production of the film was a herculean task that was executed to near perfection. It sounds like Quinn is just happy to have been part of it. He continued…

The set of Gladiator II is a wonder to bear witness to. You know that Rutger Hauer speech at the end of Blade Runner? ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,’ that’s what it felt like, just seeing it all. Ridley’s ambition, you see it in every frame. The film is reaching for something that is very much its own thing but also has reverence for the first film.

While even Russell Crowe has concerns about Gladiator II, it will be interesting to see how the new film, set decades after the original, compares. The first movie won the box office and won Oscars, if nothing else it sounds like the sequel will have some Oscar-worthy camera work.