First Footage of Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator 2” Conquers CinemaCon

There couldn’t have been a more fitting location for the first look at Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 than The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Scott’s epic sequel came roaring into the Las Vegas venue for CinemaCon, where theater owners got the first peek at his hotly-anticipated swords-and-sandals blockbuster.

Scott introduced the footage via video from London, confident in the work he, his cast, and his crew had accomplished. “It is possibly even more extraordinary than the first,” he said in the video. Stars Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington both enthused about what’s in store for audiences. 

The footage revealed Mescal’s gladiator in ferocious battle mode against some vicious monkeys and, later, a soldier utilizing a beast even more powerful than a horse—a rhino. The Colosseum itself is transformed for one massive battle, in which it’s—wait for it—filled with water to allow for a ship-vs-ship high seas clash.

Gladiator 2 is the long-awaited follow-up to Scott’s 2001 Best Picture Oscar winner, which followed the tortured journey of former general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), who went from valor to ruin after his might on the battlefield was viewed as a threat by the fragile, self-appointed emperor of Rome, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix.) Commodus goes to despicable lengths to neutralize Maximus, brutally killing his wife and children and selling him into slavery, where, eventually, Maximus ends up fighting as a gladiator. Gladiator tracked Maxmius’s bloody path of vengeance against Commodus, in which the former general turned beloved “Spainard” of the Colosseum gets ever closer to exacting his revenge against the petulant, sociopathic emperor.

“I remember that day. I never forgot it. That a slave could take revenge against an emperor. That a slave could get justice in the arena,” Mescal’s gladiator says in the footage shown.

Pedro Pascal plays a reluctant military leader who, after questioning the logic of sending so many young men off to die, is summarily sentenced to becoming a gladiator himself for his conscience. Washington plays a mentor to Mescal’s young gladiator, pushing him toward rebellion.

Connie Nielsen returns from the original film, reprising her role as Lucilla.

Gladiator 2 is set to storm into theaters on November 22. 

For more on Gladiator 2, check out these stories:

Ridley Scott Reveals Creation of Massive “Gladiator 2” Battle Scene in Behind-the-Scenes Video

Pedro Pascal Nearing Role in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” Sequel

Barry Keoghan is Circling Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” Sequel With Paul Mescal

Featured image: LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 16: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white.) Ridley Scott attends the “Napoleon” UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on November 16, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)


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