Gladiator 2: release date, cast and everything we know about the Ridley Scott sequel

Russell Crowe in Gladiator
Russell Crowe in Gladiator (Image credit: Universal Pictures/Atlaspix/Alamy Stock Photo)

Gladiator was one of Ridley Scott's most successful and critically acclaimed movies, winning Best Picture (though not Best Director for Scott) in 2001. There have been rumors for years that Scott has wanted to make a sequel to the Roman-set epic, but it is now officially happening with Gladiator 2.

While we can pretty much guarantee that Russell Crowe's Maximus won't be returning in any way considering his character's ultimate fate in the movie (it's been 23 years people, no spoiler warnings), Scott is amassing quite the star-studded cast for his Gladiator sequel, which is only going to add to the level of anticipation.

So who's in the Gladiator sequel and when can we expect it? Here is everything that we know about Gladiator 2.

Gladiator 2 release date

Gladiator premiered for audiences in May 2000. Twenty-four and a half years later, Gladiator 2 is scheduled to come to the big screen, as a release date of November 22 has been set for the 2024 new movie.

That puts Gladiator 2 firmly in the middle of what is typically Oscar season. There will certainly be talk of Gladiator 2 following in its predecessor's footsteps, at least until people start to weigh in on it. Can it become only the third sequel to win Best Picture (following The Godfather Part II and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King)?

The movie did have to shut down production during the 2023 Hollywood strikes, which could impact its eventual release date. But an Instagram post from star Paul Mescal with director Ridley Scott and the caption "the end" seems to indicate that filming on the movie may be completed (at least for Mescal). If true that would give the movie 10 months of post-production work to meet its November release.

Gladiator 2 cast

So who will be picking up the sword from Crowe for Gladiator 2? Paul Mescal, best known for Normal People and his 2022 Oscar-nominated performance in Aftersun, was the first actor cast in the sequel, set to play the role of Lucius, the grown-up version of Lucilla's (Connie Nielsen) son from the first movie. Lucius was played by Spencer Treat Clark in the original movie.

Another reported addition to the cast includes another Oscar-nominee, The Banshee of Inisherin's Barry Keoghan, per The Hollywood Reporter. Keoghan would play Emperor Geta, who was a Roman emperor in real life. Though, like Joaquin Phoenix's Emperor Commodus (also a real Roman emperor), it is expected that the character and story around him will be heavily fictionalized.

There is one other big name being recruited to enter the colosseum: Oscar-winner Denzel Washington. Deadline broke the news that Washington was in talks to star in an unspecified role in the sequel, though Deadline says the role is being described as "bad-ass." This would be the second movie that Washington has worked on with Scott, previously teaming with the director on 2007's American Gangster

Two more additions were made to the Gladiator 2 cast on April 28, with Stranger Things' Joseph Quinn and original Gladiator star Connie Nielsen announced. Quinn is going to play Emperor Caracalla, while Nielsen is set to reprise her roles as Lucilla.

Deadline reported another big name is in line to star in the Gladiator sequel, The Last of Us and The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal. There was no info on what he is going to play in the movie.

Gladiator 2 plot

Plot details for Gladiator 2 are currently unknown. But based on the casting we are able to piece together that the story takes place years after the events of the first movie.

Though we expect the story to take a number of creative liberties as the first Gladiator did, the real history involving Emperor Geta could provide an interesting setup. Geta ruled Rome as a joint emperor with his brother Caracalla after the death of their father, but within a year Geta was murdered as the two struggled to share power.

Gladiator 2 trailer

Gladiator 2 is still casting and in pre-production, so it will be some time before we see a trailer for the movie. 

Ridley Scott movies

Ridley Scott is one of the most well-regarded directors of the last 50 years. He continues to actively make movies, including releasing two movies in 2021, The Last Duel and House of Gucci. Here is a rundown of all the feature films that Ridley Scott has directed throughout his career: 

  • The Duelists (1977)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Legend (1985)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
  • Black Rain (1989)
  • Thelma & Louise (1991)
  • 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
  • White Squall (1996)
  • G.I. Jane (1997)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Hannibal (2001)
  • Black Hawk Down (2001)
  • Matchstick Men (2003)
  • Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
  • A Good Year (2006)
  • American Gangster (2007)
  • Body of Lies (2008)
  • Robin Hood (2010)
  • Prometheus (2012)
  • The Counselor (2013)
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
  • The Martian (2015)
  • Alien: Covenant (2017)
  • All the Money in the World (2017)
  • The Last Duel (2021)
  • House of Gucci (2021)

How to watch Gladiator

If the chance at seeing a sequel to Gladiator has you pumped to rewatch the first movie, you’re in luck. US viewers can watch it for free (with ads) on Pluto TV or stream it on Paramount Plus. In the UK, the movie is available on Netflix, Sky Go and NOW TV. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.