Gladiator 2: An Updated Cast List For Ridley Scott's High-Profile Sequel, Including Denzel Washington And Pedro Pascal
When Gladiator hit theaters in 2000, it managed a very rare thing in Hollywood: Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama became a box office hit and a Best Picture winner. It’s one of those few movies that hit a stride with just about everyone. So, it’s no surprise Gladiator 2 is on the way and that so many impressive actors are joining the cast.
Given the fact that Russell Crowe’s General Maximus Decimus Meridius died in the original Gladiator movie, he’s not leading the sequel. However, him saying he was “jealous” about Gladiator 2 filming without him has us wondering if he’ll cameo in a flashback or something. Regardless, check out the exciting cast members who have reportedly signed on to the sequel, which will once again be helmed by Ridley Scott, and is hitting theaters in late 2024.
Leading the Gladiator 2 cast as Lucius Verus is Oscar-nominee Paul Mescal. The Irish actor found his first leading role in 2020’s Normal People and has since been critically acclaimed in numerous films, including The Lost Daughter and Aftersun, the latter of which earned him a Best Actor nomination. Lucius was played by a young Spencer Treat Clark in the original Gladiator. He was the son of Maximus’ lover Lucilla and idolized Maximus. With that in mind, one should know the upcoming movie will feature a time jump of 25 years.
The internet’s “daddy” Pedro Pascal is following up his success with The Mandalorian and The Last Of Us with a role in Gladiator 2, per Deadline’s May report. Pascal’s role in the Ridley Scott movie is currently unknown, but the movie will be the actor’s latest big budget movie role following his villain role in 2020’s Wonder Woman 1984.
Legendary actor Denzel Washington is reportedly reuniting with Ridley Scott for Gladiator 2 after the pair worked together on 2007’s American Gangster with Russell Crowe. While we also don’t know who Washington will be playing for the time being, reportedly Scott wrote the “bad-ass role” with him in mind, and after he read the script, he was very much on board for it.
Gladiator’s Connie Nielsen is set to return to play Lucilla, Maximus’ love interest, the sister of Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus and the mother of Lucius. News of the key Gladiator character returning for the sequel was reported in April. Apparently the actress was part of Ridley Scott’s plans for Gladiator 2 “from the start of development.” Nielsen is another Wonder Woman actress in the movie, as she memorably played Hippolyta in the franchise.
Another returning cast member from Gladiator is Derek Jacobi, who will once again play Senator Gracchus, a member of the Roman Senate who opposed Commodus’s rule in the 2000 movie and helped out Lucilla and Maximus. Jacobi is an 84-year-old British actor who has appeared in projects like Good Omens and The Sandman in recent years.
Djimon Hounsou played the role of Juba, a Numidian tribesman who becomes Maximus’s closest friend, in the first movie, and the actor is expected to return for Gladiator 2 as the same character. Hounsou recently was seen as The Wizard in both Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and will star in Zack Snyder’s space opera, Rebel Moon this winter.
Stranger Things’ Eddie Munson actor, Joseph Quinn, is also among the Gladiator 2 cast, reportedly as Emperor Caracalla . Since the British actor went viral for starring in the latest season of the Netflix hit sci-fi series in 2022, he’s also been cast in A Quiet Place: Day One, which also stars Djimon Hounsou. Quinn's character will share a close bond with the next person on this list.
While Barry Keoghan was initially cast in the role of Emperor Geta in Gladiator 2, the Eternals actor reportedly dropped out of Ridley Scott’s movie to star in a movie called Bird from American Honey filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Taking his place is The White Lotus actor Fred Hechinger, who played Quinn, the son of Connie Britton and Steve Zahn’s Mossbacher couple in the first season. Hechinger was also in Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy and The Pale Blue Eye earlier this year.
Egyptian-Palestinian actress May Calamawy, who has starred in three seasons of Hulu’s Ramy and the Marvel series Moon Knight alongside Oscar Isaac, is also going to be in Gladiator 2. Per Deadline, the actress’ unknown role has great “importance” to the story. Scott apparently did a wide search for the role, and Calamawy landed it after “multiple auditions.”
Israeli actor Lior Raz has also been cast in Gladiator 2. He’s known for his four-season Netflix series Fauda and is set to star in the upcoming Apple TV+ Tom Holland series, The Crowded Room. This is another cast member for whom we don’t know their place in the sequel yet.
Actor Peter Mensah has dabbled in historical epics like Gladiator, between his roles in the 300 films and Spartacus series. He had a role in Avatar and was a major character in cancelled series Midnight, Texas as well. Given his history in the action space, we imagine he’ll be part of it as a cast member with an undisclosed role in Gladiator 2.
Bridesmaids actor Matt Lucas has also reportedly been cast in an unknown role in the sequel. The British-German actor is primarily known for his comedic and voiceover work. Along with Gladiator 2, he also has a role in the upcoming Wonka movie starring Timothée Chalamet.
The Gladiator 2 cast seems rather random for the moment, but as Ridley Scott’s vision for the movie progresses, we imagine the cast list will start coming together in our minds. The Gladiator sequel is set to begin filming this summer from a script by David Scarpa, who just collaborated with Scott on his Napoleon biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix, which is also among 2023 new movie releases. Gladiator 2 is currently set for a November 22, 2024 release date in theaters.