The Internet Can’t Stop Thinking About The Roman Empire After New Footage Of Paul Mescal In Gladiator 2 Drops

 Paul Mescal leaning on door frame in All Of Us Strangers.
Credit: Searchlight Pictures

The new photos from Gladiator 2 have taken the world by storm. The actors look incredible, and the film looks like it truly captures the rugged epicness of 2000’s Gladiator. There is much to discuss, including the fact that it looks like Pedro Pascal may not survive the film, and Denzel Washington outshines the rest of the Gladiator 2 cast in his royal garb fit for a king. However, no one is getting as much attention as Paul Mescal, and it’s igniting much chatter about the Roman Empire, and how Mescal now represents it for fans on social media.

For context, a trend went around last year where girls asked guys how often they thought about the Roman Empire. The answers were staggeringly high, with many men, including Christopher Nolan, saying they think about the historic time period multiple times a day. It’s not surprising, considering the era has been highlighted for its emphasis on masculinity, and movies based around the time period like 300, Ben-Hur, and of course, Gladiator, primarily appeal to men. It became a running internet joke, with women naming things that are their “Roman Empires” in pop culture like Taylor Swift, the end of Fleabag, and Greta Gerwig movies.

However, these new photos of Paul Mescal may just be the perfect blend of both. The Normal People actor got ripped for the film, and fans of the actor have definitely noticed. It seems like Paul Mescal playing a character in the Roman Empire has officially become people’s “Roman Empire.” You can see one fan tweet below:

Truly the casting was perfect, and another fan pointed out on X that he looks like a Greek God in some of the more melodramatic photos. Mescal is truly living in the minds of fans everywhere, rent free.

One X user pointed out how the marketing for the film was genius. The movie features many very buff Hollywood heartthrobs battling their way to a violent victory. It seems like there's something for everyone, and director Ridley Scott is finding a way to hit every demographic.

While Paul Mescal in battle gear may just be the true representation of the “Roman Empire” in every sense, some fans will remain traditionalists. The Gladiator 2 photos are swoon-worthy, but his fans will never forget the viral photos of him working out in tiny running shorts. Someone said on X:

Additionally, some of these new Gladiator 2 fans are bandwagoners, as his fans have been calling the Aftersun actor their Roman Empire on X for a while. Now it seems like he’s committed to the title.

You can see Paul Mescal flexing his muscles in Gladiator 2, which hits theaters on November 22nd. It is one of the most anticipated films of the year, so make sure you see it on the biggest screen possible. For more information on other exciting titles heading to cinemas in the near future, make sure to consult our 2024 movie release schedule.