16 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
First images of Paul Mescal on Gladiator II set emerge
12 Jun 2024 : Luke Shanahan
Paul Mescal on set, Gladiator II
Ridley Scott’s long awaited sequel to his 2000 film, Gladiator, wrapped principal photography on January 17. Additional filming took place in Sussex earlier this month, with Paul Mescal seen in costume.

Gladiator II is directed by Ridley Scott, and written by David Scarpa, who previously collaborated with Scott as the screenwriter for All the Money in the World.

The film stars Paul Mescal (Normal People) in the lead role. He is joined by an ensemble cast that includes  Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us), Denzel Washington (Training Day), Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), as well as returning cast members of the original film Connie Nielsen (Nobody) and Derek Jacobi (Hamlet). Washington and Scott previously collaborated on the film American Gangster.

The long-awaited sequel follows an adult Lucius Verus (Mescal), nephew to Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus, who idolised the late Maximus (portrayed by Russell Crowe in the original film). Director Ridley Scott has teased that Lucius has been living in the woods for 15 years with no connection to his mother (Nielsen), believing her to be dead.

While plot details remain under wraps, a preview of an unfinished trailer premiered at CinemaCon in April 2024. The clip featured scenes of Lucius fighting multiple gladiators in an arena, as well as baboons and a rhinoceros.

The film’s crew also features frequent collaborators of Scott's, including Academy Award-nominated cinematographer John Mathieson, Academy Award-nominated production designer Arthur Max and Academy Award-winning costume designer Janty Yates, all of whom worked on the original Gladiator.

Production began in June 2023, but was delayed by the SAG-AFTRA strike the following July. Filming resumed in December of last year and wrapped in January 2024. Additional filming has taken place at Devil's Dyke, Sussex, a deep V-shaped valley in England. Mescal was seen wearing a similar costume to Crow’s character in the original film, and there were many extras seen to be also in costume and on horseback.

Gladiator II is set to release in cinemas on November 22, 2024.

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