Gladiator II Looks Absolutely Insane

Rage is Paul Mescal’s gift in the very first Gladiator II trailer. For those fans who have been eagerly awaiting the second chapter in Ridley Scott’s growing film series for over two decades, the teaser is enough to get your blood pumping and your eyes set on the calendar for the film’s arrival on November 22. Mescal’s character isn’t the only one seeking revenge, wrath, and glory in the teaser which also features plenty of close-ups of others including Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, and Joseph Quinn.

Take a look at the epic trailer that just dropped today:

The Gladiator II trailer reveals the moment that Lucius joins forces with Denzel Washington’s Macrinus, a wealthy man who has made his fortune as an arms and gladiator dealer. 

The Gladiator II trailer better sets up the story awaiting audiences when the sequel enters the box office arena in just a few short months. We’ve long known that Paul Mescal will appear as Lucius, a character first introduced as the heir to the Emperor in 2000’s Gladiator, but how he ended up duking it out for his life has largely remained a mystery. As the first look teases, it’s not entirely clear if Lucius fully forgets his life alongside his uncle Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and mother, Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), or if he’s chosen to block it out.

One thing is for sure – the stance that Maximus (Russell Crowe) made against the Emperor in the original film left a mark on Lucius who greatly admires the deceased man’s brave actions. The Gladiator II trailer reveals the moment that Lucius joins forces with Denzel Washington’s Macrinus, a wealthy man who has made his fortune as an arms and gladiator dealer. 

From the initial peek, there will be more battle scenes than the first film gave us, as audiences will see archers firing arrow after arrow at the enemy and battleships cruising through the water.

If you thought Rome was crumbling in the first movie, things are a million times worse in the trailer for Gladiator II with the citizens starving and calling out for help to their selfish and sadistic leaders. From the initial peek, there will be more battle scenes than the first film gave us, as audiences will see archers firing arrow after arrow at the enemy and battleships cruising through the water. There will also be all sorts of new challenges awaiting the gladiators as they step through the doors of the Colosseum, with the debut trailer giving viewers a look at wild rhinos out for blood.

Gladiator II Trailer
Gladiator II trailer featuring Paul Mescal as Lucius Verus (2024)

Like the man he admires so much, Paul Mescal’s Lucius takes a page or two from Maximus’ playbook in the Gladiator II trailer, pulling his fellow fighters together to approach their lethal obstacles as a team. Calling for the head of the Roman general, Marcus Acacius (Pedro Pascal), Lucius says his thirst for blood won’t be quenched until he takes the official’s life. Meanwhile, it’s entirely unclear whether Lucilla recognizes her son when she sees him in the fighting pit, although a touching moment between the two shows her giving the ruthless fighter a ring that once belonged to Maximus. 

If you thought Rome was crumbling in the first movie, things are a million times worse in the trailer for Gladiator II with the citizens starving and calling out for help to their selfish and sadistic leaders.

For the most part, the Gladiator II trailer looks rather promising for audiences who have wondered how Ridley Scott could possibly dream of following up his classic historical drama. Despite already garnering some criticism for playing their characters too closely to Phoenix’s Commodus, Joseph Quinn and Fred Hechinger both appear to put their own manic twist on the co-emperors Geta and Caracalla, respectively, and the teaser is absolutely dripping with blood and selfish aspiration. We’re looking forward to seeing more where that came from as we march towards the movie’s November release date.

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