‘Gladiator II’ First Look Gets Thumbs Up & Loud Cheers From Exhibs At CinemaCon


Refresh for More…Paramount ended their CinemaCon 2024 on an epic note, that being Ridley Scott’s Gladiator II. The logo was unveiled and title made official today at the Las Vegas studio exhibitor confab.

Raised stakes here: Rhinos, man-eating monkeys, battling boats in the Colosseum and a very quotable, wise, fierce Roman statesman played by Denzel Washington — he’s not an Emperor. Not only does Paramount have a Thanksgiving tentpole locked up here in the sequel to the 2000 Oscar-winning Best Picture, but — wow — they clearly have another awards contender on their hands.

“It’s more extraordinary than the first” beamed Scott in pre-roll footage which also included stars Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen and Paul Mescal.

First shot in the trailer is a glimpse of hands sifting through rice, and echo of the famous shot of Maximus’ hand skimming over the top of a waving field of wheat in the original film. Says Paul Mescal’s son of Russell Crowe’s late Maximus in a voiceover, “I remember the days that a slave could take revenge on the emperor, that a slave found justice in the arena.”

“Can you hear that crowd?” says Washington, “The greatest temple that Rome ever built was the Colosseum..this is what they believe in…power.”

The son of Maximus, like his father, is a slave who is more than his worth in the arena, leading a rebellion. Pedro Pascal plays a revered right-hand Roman military leader to the Emperor, but also a fierce fighter in the arena. The battle goes beyond the Colosseum in large-scale epic fights outside of stone edifices — big skirmishes that only Scott can pull off. Connie Nielsen is back, and we see her bestowing Maximus’ ring to his son.

“The only truth in Rome is the law of the strongest,” booms Washington — who by the way doesn’t seem as despicable as Joaquin Phoenix’s Emperor from the first film; he’s seen in what appears several moments in the trailer dispensing advice to Mescal.

The sequel hits theaters on Nov. 22.

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