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Gladiator II Trailer Sparks Debate Over 'Anachronistic' Song Choice

Gladiator II Trailer Sparks Debate Over ‘Anachronistic’ Song Choice

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The Gladiator II trailer has sparked a split among fans over an unexpected detail unrelated to the film’s storyline.

On Tuesday, July 9, the first teaser for the highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning epic was unveiled online. The trailer features Paul Mescal as Lucius, the son of Lucilla, a character originally played by Connie Nielsen.

Mescal, known for his Oscar-nominated role in Aftersun, previously expressed his concerns about possibly becoming even more famous with this film. However, judging by the buzz the trailer has generated, the Irish actor might have to brace himself for more attention.

Despite the thrilling visuals and star-studded cast including Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, and Stranger Things breakout Joseph Quinn, viewers were distracted by the song choice for the trailer. Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” accompanies the action, which some fans feel disrupts the film’s historical ambiance.

Complaints about the song selection included comments like, “it absolutely ruins the vibe” and suggestions that a score by composer Hans Zimmer would have been more fitting.

One viewer took to X/Twitter to voice their surprise: “How did Ridley Scott: A) Sign off on the wildly anachronistic song choice for this Gladiator 2 trailer?” Another commented, “Jay-Z for the backing song? For Gladiator 2? Really?”

Another reaction read, “The song in the Gladiator 2 trailer took me completely out of the moment, who chose that ???”

However, other fans argued back, bringing up a lesser-known detail about the original Gladiator trailer. One person pointed out, “For those too young to know, one of the first trailers for Gladiator had ‘Bawitaba’ by Kid Rock as a song. ‘No Church in The Wild’ is perfect for Gladiator 2.”

Another fan commented, “Gladiator 2 looks incredible. I cannot imagine being one of those nerds upset about a song choice.”

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The film’s plot synopsis reads: “Years after witnessing the death of the revered hero Maximus at the hands of his uncle, Lucius (Mescal) is forced to enter the Colosseum after his home is conquered by the tyrannical Emperors who now lead Rome with an iron fist.

“With rage in his heart and the future of the Empire at stake, Lucius must look to his past to find strength and honor to return the glory of Rome to its people.”

The release date for the movie has been set for November 15.

Source: Variety, Entertainment Weekly