Gladiator 2: Release date, cast and plot for Ridley Scott’s sequel

Maximus Decimus Meridius sequelus

Russel Crowe starred in 2000's Gladiator (DreamWorks).
Russel Crowe starred in 2000's Gladiator (DreamWorks).

“Are you not entertained?” Well, considering director Ridley Scott is currently hard at work on Gladiator 2, it looks like the answer is not nearly enough.

Despite 23 years having passed since Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius conquered the Colosseum and grabbed the attention of cinema-goers around the world, a follow-up movie based in his sword and sandal world is on the way.

Scott may be 85 years old but the filmmaker’s infamous work ethic shows no signs of slowing as he gathers an impressive cast to take us back to Ancient Rome.

Read more: Paramount’s ‘Gladiator’ Sequel Rounds Out Cast (Deadline, 3 min read)

Speaking of which, you may remember that Crowe’s slave-turned-gladiator Maximus and Joaquin Phoenix’s sadistic emperor Commodus both perished in battle at the end of the last movie. With that in mind, it’s likely a safe bet that Scott’s new story will take viewers on a new adventure.

What adventure will this be, we hear you ask?

Well, first off: yes, we can read your thoughts - but secondly and more importantly, we’ve also rounded up all the key information you need to know about Gladiator 2, including its cast, plot details, release date and more so if you’re still not entertained, you hopefully will be soon.

Gladiator 2 release date

A sequel to Gladiator has been in the works for a while (DreamWorks).
A sequel to Gladiator has been in the works for a while (DreamWorks).

The as-yet-untitled Gladiator 2 is set for release on Friday, 22 November 2024 in both UK and USA cinemas.

Obviously, that’s a long way away and anything can change between now and then but as it stands, this is when we can expect to watch Scott's new movie.

Gladiator 2 plot

Joaquin Phoenix played the sadistic emperor Commodus (DreamWorks).
Joaquin Phoenix played the sadistic emperor Commodus (DreamWorks).

A sequel to Gladiator has long been rumoured and there have been many false starts over the years.

Both prequel and sequel ideas were kicked around in the years following Gladiator’s 2000 release, with a handful of screenwriters attached at various points but nothing substantial emerging.

Read more: Actors who were injured on Oscar-winning movies

Eventually, singer-songwriter Nick Cave was hired to pen a script that would have taken the story into a more fantastical realm. Joyfully named 'Christ Killer', Cave’s story would’ve reunited viewers with Maximus in the afterlife where he’s hired by the Roman Gods to return to Earth and stop the rise of Christianity in its tracks by killing Jesus.

"Are you not entertained?" (DreamWorks)
"Are you not entertained?" (DreamWorks)

The story would’ve eventually brought Crowe’s character through the ages and also various battles - from World War II and Vietnam, right the way up to the present day - but the idea was ultimately never released after Crowe reportedly wasn’t a fan of the idea.

After completing work on his upcoming Napoleon movie, Scott recruited the help of that film’s screenwriter, David Scarpa, to pen a new Gladiator 2 script. It is this script that Scott aims to shoot - although when it comes to plot, we’re still largely in the dark about what the duo’s new story will entail.

Gladiator 2 cast

Paul Mescal joins Gladiator 2 as Lucius. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Paul Mescal joins Gladiator 2 as Lucius. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

While we don’t yet know the exact plot of Scott’s Gladiator sequel, its casting may reveal some key details about what it might entail.

Aftersun star Paul Mescal joined the project in early 2023 as Lucius, son of Lucilla, the sister to Phoenix’s Commodus who was played by Connie Nielsen in the first film. Nielsen is also expected to return to play Lucius once more.

Veteran stage and screen actor Derek Jacobi, who played Gracchus in the original is also back, with Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn onboard to play Emperor Caracalla.

A number of other big-name stars have signed on but their roles are still a mystery. These include Denzel Washington, Matt Lucas, Pedro Pascal, May Calamawy and Lior Raz.

Denzel Washington will appear in Gladiator 2. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Denzel Washington will appear in Gladiator 2. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Batman actor Barry Keoghan was due to play Emperor Geta but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. His role will now be played by The White Lotus season one star Fred Hechinger.

It’s still unclear whether Crowe or Phoenix will appear in the sequel but considering their fates in part one, it seems unlikely. Despite this, we can’t quite rule out an appearance via flashback or dream sequence.

Gladiator 2 trailer

With the film’s release date so far away, no trailer for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel has materialised just yet. Check back soon though because when we know about it, you will too.

Gladiator 2 will hit cinemas in the UK on Friday, 22 November, 2024.