Gladiator II Trailer: Paul Mescal Takes Up the Gladiatorial Mantle

24 years after Russell Crowe’s Maximus became a legend, director Ridley Scott is returning to Ancient Rome with the first trailer for *Gladiator II*, the long-awaited sequel to the Oscar-winning *Gladiator*. The footage opens with Paul Mescal’s Lucius reminiscing about the day he witnessed Maximus die while slaying his uncle Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in the arena. “I never forgot it,” Mescal says in the trailer. “That a slave could take revenge against an emperor.”

Years after the events of *Gladiator*, Lucius is living in Numidia with his wife and child. However, the Roman army invades Numidia, capturing Lucius and forcing him to fight as a gladiator. The action-packed trailer teases several exhilarating action sequences, including the invasion of Numidia and man versus rhino in the Colosseum. The footage culminates with Lucius facing off against Pedro Pascal’s Marcus Acacius on the bloody sands inside the arena.

“With rage in his heart and the future of the Empire at stake, Lucius must look to his past to find strength and honor to return the glory of Rome to its people,” Paramount’s synopsis reads. Besides Mescal and Pascal, *Gladiator II*’s ensemble includes Connie Nielsen as Lucilla, Joseph Quinn as Emperor Geta, Fred Hechinger as Emperor Caracalla, Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus, and Denzel Washington as Macrinus.

Scott directs *Gladiator II* from a script by David Scarpa, who wrote the initial story with Peter Craig. Scott and Scarpa previously collaborated on *All the Money in the World* and *Napoleon*. *Gladiator II* will look to follow in the footsteps of 2000’s *Gladiator*, which became the second-highest-grossing film of the year and won five Oscars, including Best Picture. *Gladiator II* opens in theaters on November 22, 2024.

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