Gladiator 2: Everything we know so far

Eleni Thomas
Paul Mescal and the poster for Gladiator

Gladiator 2 is about to kick off production again – here’s what you need to know about the sequel, including release date updates, cast, plot, and more.

Scott is returning to helm the sequel to his Oscar-winning masterpiece Gladiator. Released in 2000, Gladiator has been frequently referred to as one of the most remarkable films in history, owing to its exceptional cinematography, unforgettable performances, and legendary score crafted by composer Hans Zimmer.

The original grossed over $503 million worldwide, exceeding expectations and cementing its place as a commercial hit. In addition to its financial achievements, Gladiator also garnered impressive reviews, holding an 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 80% score from the critics. 

And now, after 23 years, a sequel is confirmed to be in the pipeline. We have gathered all the information available about Gladiator 2, including plot specifics, casting updates, and more, to keep you informed about this highly anticipated project.

Contents:

Is there a Gladiator 2 release date?

Right now, Gladiator 2 has a scheduled release date of November 22, 2024.

Scott has been tinkering with the sequel for years, with the script completed in late 2021. Production eventually kicked off in 2023, with sets constructed in Morocco and shoots planned for Malta and the UK over a period of four months.

With 90 minutes shot, production was paused due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, which have since come to an end after both unions struck new deals. It’s expected that filming will resume imminently.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker about his career, Scott described a scene that he’d shot before shutdown.

“He’d been polishing the 90 minutes he had, including a scene in which the hero fights a pack of baboons; he’d been haunted, he said, by a video of baboons attacking tourists in Johannesburg,” the outlet wrote.

Scott then said: “Baboons are carnivores. Can you hang from that roof for two hours by your left leg? No! A baboon can.”

Following the strike, the director is eager to get back to work, telling Deadline it’ll be a “couple of weeks” before he’s on set again. “Thank God it’s over. We shot about 90 minutes, at least that’s finished. It’s really getting the sets cleaned up; they’re already built. I got another 90 minutes to go,” he added.

There was also an incident in which six crew members sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

In a statement, a Paramount spokesperson said: “While filming a planned stunt sequence on the set of the Gladiator sequel, an accident occurred during which several crew members experienced non-life-threatening injuries.

“The safety and full medical services teams on-site were able to act quickly so that those who were impacted immediately received necessary care. They are all in stable condition and continue to receive treatment. The well-being of the cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us, and we have strict health and safety procedures in place on all our productions. We will continue monitoring the situation and taking all necessary precautions as we resume production.”

Gladiator 2 cast: Who is set to star in the sequel?

The Gladiator 2 cast includes:

  • Paul Mescal as Lucius
  • Connie Nielsen as Lucilla
  • Djimon Hounsou as Juba
  • Derek Jacobi as Gracchus
  • Joseph Quinn as Caracalla
  • Fred Hechinger as Geta
  • Denzel Washington
  • Pedro Pascal
  • Matt Lucas
  • May Calamawy
  • Penter Mensah
  • Lior Raz

The original film had an iconic cast, with Russel Crowe winning an Oscar for his leading performance as Maximus as well as Joker star Joaquin Phoenix’s equally impressive role as the antagonistic Commodus.

And the sequel is shaping up to boast another star-studded cast, with some of Hollywood’s most promising young talents attached to the project.

What’s more, in May 2023, sources told Deadline that Connie Nielsen will reprise her role as Lucilla. If/when this is confirmed, this will no doubt have huge implications for the plot. Sources also told the outlet that Stranger Things breakout star Joseph Quinn is in negotiations to play Emperor Caracalla.

Deadline later confirmed that The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal would also be joining the cast of the Ridley Scott film in an unknown role.

As of May 18, sources told the outlet that while Eternals star Barry Keoghan was the frontrunner to play the film’s antagonist Emperor Geta, he had to drop out due to scheduling projects. The insiders claim Fred Hechinger of The White Lotus fame is in negotiations to take on the role, while May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Derek Jacobi, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas are also reportedly set to join the project in undisclosed roles.

The movie is said to be Pascal’s priority following the end of the strike, so other projects – namely, The Last of Us Season 2 – will either be placed on the back burner or work around his shooting schedule.

Scott has also given more details about Denzel Washington’s character, stating to Deadline that “There’s a parallel character, the owner of a business that supplied weapons for the Romans, who supplied the oil when they traveled, who supplied the wine they drink.

“There had to be the arms dealers of the period; here is a man who already rich from supplying the weapons, the catapults. His hobby is like a racing stable except it’s gladiators. He’s got a stable of 30 or 40 gladiators. He likes to actually see them fight and it evolves that that’s where he came from. He was captured in North Africa, and evolved into a free man because he was a good gladiator. But he hides that because also he’s now realizing the potential of his actual power. He’s wealthier than most senators, so already has thoughts and designs of the possible idea of taking power from these two crazy princes.”

Be sure to check back in with this section as we updated when more cast and crew are confirmed for the project.

Gladiator 2 plot: What will the sequel be about?

Gladiator 2 body image
Lucius was a key character in the original Gladiator

Little has been confirmed about the plot of Gladiator 2. However, the focus of the film being on Lucius, the young boy many will remember from the first film as being a big believer of Maximus, does hint at what kind of story fans can expect.

Despite his lineage, there is a chance that Lucius will follow in Maximus’ footsteps and do his best to take on the Colosseum as a Gladiator.

As well as this, it’s looking increasingly likely that his mother, Lucilla, will be in the film. In December 2021, when Nielsen was asked if she would be reprising her role as Lucilla in the sequel, she told the New York Post that she was “not allowed to say anything”. However, the latest news from Deadline appears to suggest that she will. We’ll keep this space updated upon confirmation or any announcements.

Will Gladiator 2 be released in theatres?

It is yet to be confirmed if Gladiator 2 will get a theatrical release or if the sequel will drop straight onto a streaming service. However, given that the first film grossed a total of $503 million USD off of a $103 million USD budget, odds are the studio will want to have a theatrical run of the film before it becomes available to stream.

When it does eventually arrive on a streaming platform, it will most likely drop on Paramount+ given that the Gladiator intellectual property is owned by Paramount Pictures.

That’s everything we know so far about Gladiator 2. In the meantime, check out our other TV and movie hubs below:

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