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Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington in Ridley Scott’s Action Sequel

It’s time to step back into the ring as Paramount Pictures has debuted the official trailer for Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator 2,” starring Paul Mescal as a grown-up Lucius. The long-anticipated sequel is set for release on Nov. 22.

Lucius is the son of Lucilla and the nephew of Commodus, the original film’s antagonist played by Joaquin Phoenix. He was portrayed as a child by Spencer Treat Clark in the original “Gladiator” movie.

The sequel picks up years later, with Lucius now living in the northern African region of Numidia, where he was sent by his mother as it was just outside the reach of the Roman Empire. Events take a turn, bringing Lucius back to Rome as a gladiator, where he faces new enemies and reunites with his mother.

The supporting cast features Pedro Pascal as Marcus Acacius, a Roman general who trained under the command of Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe from “Gladiator”), Denzel Washington as Macrinus, a wealthy powerbroker in Rome who maintains a stable of gladiators for sport. Additionally, Joseph Quinn and Fred Hechinger play the twin emperors of Rome.

Ridley Scott recently told Vanity Fair that he became a fan of Mescal’s after watching the actor’s performance in “Normal People.” They spoke for only half an hour before Scott decided that Mescal was his choice for “Gladiator 2.” The actor bulked up significantly for the film, with co-star Pascal noting that it was challenging to face off against him in the arena. Pascal even nicknamed Mescal “Brick Wall Paul” on set.

“He got so strong. I would rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again,” Pascal added. “To go up against somebody that fit, that talented, and that much younger… It’s brutal, man.”

In the original “Gladiator,” Russell Crowe starred as Maximus, a Roman general betrayed by Commodus and reduced to slavery, fighting as a gladiator to avenge his family. Maximus also saves the lives of Lucius and Lucilla. The film was a box office success and won several Oscars, including best picture and best actor. Hans Zimmer, who was nominated for best original score for the first film, has returned to score the sequel.

Watch the trailer below.

Source: Vanity Fair