The death of Emperor Commodus didn’t result in Rome becoming a Republic again in either real life or in Ridley Scott’s fictional Rome. We know because his 2000 classic Gladiator is finally getting a long-discussed sequel that will find Rome is still an empire. What else will we find when we return to the ancient world? Here’s everything we know about Gladiator 2 so far.
The working title for the sequel to 2001’s Best Picture winner is Gladiator 2.
Gladiator 2‘s Plot
Paramount has not yet shared an official synopsis for the film, but it will prominently feature major characters from the original. The movie will follow Lucius, the young son of Lucilla whom Maximus saved in the 2000 historical drama.
Various prequel and sequel ideas to Gladiator have been discussed, developed, and even written since the original film’s release. The most famous saw the Roman gods sending Maximus back to Earth as an immortal warrior tasked with fighting Christianity.
It seems unlikely the sequel that will finally arrive in theaters will have much to do with that story. It will still have the same director, however. Ridley Scott will once again bring Ancient Rome to life with a script from David Scarpa (All the Money in the World, Napoleon). Filming began in Morocco in early June 2023, with shooting also set to take place in Malta and the UK. An on-set fire during a stunt in Morocco injured six crew members early in the production.
Gladiator 2‘s Cast
While Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix’s characters both died in the original and will not return, Connie Nielsen will be back as Lucilla. Also back are both Djimon Hounsou’s freed Roman gladiator Juba and Derek Jakobi’s Senator Gracchus. Paul Mescal will take on the major role of Lucilla’s now adult son, Lucius, originally played by Spencer Treat Clark.
Some big names will also join them in the film. Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington have both signed on the movie, as has Stranger Things 4‘s Joseph Quinn. He’s reportedly playing Emperor Caracalla, which would indicate within this fictional version of Ancient Rome Maximus’s dying dream of restoring the Republic was not fulfilled. Fred Hechinger is also reported to be playing Caracalla’s younger brother and initially co-emperor Geta, whom Caracalla had murdered rather than co-rule with.
Gladiator 2 will also feature May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas. Barry Keoghan had been in discussions to join the film, but will not appear in the movie.
Gladiator 2‘s Release Date
Paramount set Gladiator 2‘s release date for November 22, 2024. It now seems certain the film will arrive in theaters at a much later date. The movie shut down while filming in Malta a month into production after SAG-AFTRA went on strike. (Filming was underway despite the WGA strike.) Until the AMPTP offers both unions a fair contract Gladiator 2 will not resume filming, leaving its release date up in the air.