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Digital Cover entertainment© Aidan Monaghan,© 2024 PARAMOUNT PICTURES


Gladiator II Trailer: Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal's beautiful, bloody battle

Gladiator 2 hits theaters November 22

Jovita Trujillo
Jovita Trujillo - Los Angeles
Senior WriterLos Angeles
JULY 9, 2024 4:47 PM EDT

Gladiator II is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2024, and the trailer is finally here. Starring Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen, Joseph Quinn, and Fred Hechinger, it hits theaters on November 22. Watch the trailer below, check out some first images of the film, and learn more about the action-packed Roman adventure. 

Gladiator II | Official Trailer

The film is written by David Scarpa and directed by Ridley Scott, who was behind the first Gladiator (2000) starring Russell Crow. It follows Lucius Verus (Mescal), the son of Lucilla (Nielsen), who idolized the late Maximus (Crow). Nielsen and Derek Jacobi will reprise their roles as Lucilla and Senator Gracchus as Lucius uses his rage in gladiatorial battles, fighting against humans and animals like baboons and a rhinoceros.

Gladiator II © Aidan Monaghan,©2024 Paramount Pictures

Lucious finds himself captured by the Romans after Pascal's character, General Marcus Acacius, invades Numidia. After being taken back to Rome, he is forced to fight as a gladiator in the arena.

Gladiator II© Aidan Monaghan

While Lucius is the grandson of Rome's former emperor, Marcus Aurelius, Marcus was trained under Maximus, creating a powerful connection between "Gladiator II" and the original film. They both got jacked for the film, and Pascal told Vanity Fair, "I would rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again. To go up against somebody that fit and that talented and that much younger…. Outside of Ridley being a total genius, Paul is a big reason as to why I would put my poor body through that experience.”

© Photo Credit: Cuba Scott

Lucilla, who is the daughter of the late emperor, Marcus Aurelius, loves Acacius and watches Lucius battling in the arena, unaware that he is her own son. “She’s a woman who has had a huge loss, and in the middle of that, a gift that is Pedro Pascal,” Nielsen told Vanity Fair. 

© Aidan Monaghan

Pascal opened up about his experience on the set with Vanity Fair calling it one of the most impressive he's been on. “I’ve been a part of big sets where the identity of the project, in a sense, is its size—and still, I have not been on a set as impressive as Gladiator’s,” he said. 

© Photo Credit: Cuba Scott

Fan favorite Academy Award-winning actor, Washington looks incredible in the trailer. He plays Macrinus, an arms dealer who supplies food for Europe's armies. The powerbroker lives lavishly and oversees the gladiators fighting in the arena, but is thirsty for power in the empire.

© Paramount Pictures

Mescal told Vanity Fair he focused on his fight choreography. “I just wanted to be big and strong and look like somebody who can cause a bit of damage when shit hits the fan,” he told the outlet. “Muscles start to grow, and that can be deemed aesthetic in certain capacities, but there is something about feeling strong in your body that elicits just a different feeling."

© Aidan Monaghan

Quinn stars as Emperor Geta, who along with Emperor Caracalla (Fred Hechinger) threatens Lucilla’s well-being to control Acacius. “They’re using her as a little bit of leverage if they have to,” Scott told VF.