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Gladiator 2: release date, cast, plot, trailer, and more

In 2000, director Ridley Scott introduced Maximus Decimus Meridius to the world in Gladiator. The historical epic starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, a Roman general sold into slavery after being betrayed by Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the Emperor’s power-hungry son. Maximus becomes a gladiator and vows to exact his revenge on Commodus for killing his family. Gladiator was the second-highest-grossing film of 2000 and won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.

Twenty-four years later, Scott returns to the arena of blood and sand with his long-awaited sequel, Gladiator 2. The film will follow an adult Lucius Verus, Lucilla’s son and nephew of Commodus. Gladiator 2 is one of the most anticipated films on the 2024 calendar. Below, we explore everything you need to know about Gladiator 2, including the release date, cast, synopsis, and trailer.

Gladiator 2 release date

Russell Crowe points a sword in Gladiator.
Universal Pictures

Gladiator 2 is scheduled to be released theatrically on November 22, 2024. Paramount Pictures will distribute the film in the U.S. while Universal Pictures will handle international distribution. Filming wrapped in January 2024, so Gladiator 2 should make its November 2024 release date.

Gladiator 2 cast

Paul Mescal stares ahead in Normal People.
Hulu

Paul Mescal leads Gladiator 2 as Lucius Verus, a character originated by Spencer Treat Clark in Gladiator. Mescal is best known for his Emmy-nominated role of Connell Waldron in Normal People and his Oscar-nominated role of Calum Paterson in Aftersun. Predominantly known for starring in independent features, Gladiator 2 is the biggest film of Mescal’s young career.

Denzel Washington will star alongside Mescal as a former gladiator who earned his freedom and became a wealthy arms and commodities dealer. However, Washington’s character still holds a grudge against the emperors. Additional cast members include Joseph Quinn as co-emperor Caracalla, Fred Hechinger as co-emperor Geta, Pedro Pascal, May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas. Hechinger’s role originally belonged to Barry Keoghan, but the Saltburn actor dropped out because of scheduling issues.

Two actors reprising their roles from Gladiator in the sequel are Connie Nielsen as Lucilla, Lucius’s mother, and Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus, an ally of Lucilla and Maximus. Djimon Hounsou was set to return for the sequel as Juba, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

What is Gladiator 2 about?

Gladiator 2 will follow an older Lucius about 15 years after Gladiator. Most of the plot details have been kept under wraps, however, Scott explained to Rotten Tomatoes what Lucius has been up to since Gladiator.

“[Lucius] has been out in the wilderness for … let’s see, we last saw him when he was 12,” Scott said. “It’s about 12, 15 years later, he’s been out in the wilderness, having lost touch with his mother. His mother lost touch with him. She doesn’t know where he is. She thinks he might be dead.”

Who is writing and directing Gladiator 2?

Ridley Scott holds a microphone and talks.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Gladiator 2 is directed by Scott from a screenplay by David Scarpa. Scott and Scarpa previously teamed on 2017’s All the Money in the World and 2023’s Napoleon. Scott will produce Gladiator 2 alongside Michael Pruss, Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, and David Franzoni. Scott received an Oscar nomination for Best Director for Gladiator.

Are Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix involved in Gladiator 2?

Joaquin Phoenix stares into Russell Crowe's eyes as the latter is chained.
Universal Pictures

Crowe and Phoenix are not expected to reprise their roles of Maximus and Commodus for the sequel because both men die at the end of Gladiator. Maximus kills Commodus in a duel at the Coliseum. However, Maximus succumbs to his wounds shortly after.

Maximus and Commodus could appear in archival footage. Also, Crowe or Phoenix could have filmed a secret cameo for a flashback sequence, but  there have been no reports of their involvement.

Is there a trailer for Gladiator 2?

Connie Nielsen and Russell Crowe as Lucilla and Maximus in Gladiator.
Image via Universal

As of January 2024, there is no trailer for Gladiator 2. With a November 2024 release, expect a Gladiator 2 trailer to premiere this spring or summer. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on A Quiet Place: Day One, one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2024, which hits theaters on June 28.

Studios love to run trailers from their upcoming projects in front of their own films. Gladiator 2 and A Quiet Place: Day One are both from Paramount movies, so do not be surprised if a trailer for the Gladiator sequel premieres in June.

Can you stream Gladiator 2?

Russell Crowe holds his hands out in the arena for Gladiator.
Universal Pictures

Gladiator 2 will be released theatrically in November 2024. It will not be a day-and-date release on a streaming service. When Gladiator 2 does hit streaming, it will wind up on Paramount+.

Will there be a sequel to Gladiator 2?

A man sits next to a young boy and puts his hand on his shoulder.
Universal Pictures

There are no plans for a Gladiator 3 as of January 2024. Considering it will be 24 years between the two films, Paramount will likely want to see how Gladiator 2 does at the box office before determining the franchise’s future.

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Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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