Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Mohammed Mehdi Bensaid, got one heck of a scoop. Bensaid got to visit the set of Gladiator 2, which legendary director Ridley Scott is currently filming in Morocco. In a post on Instagram, Bensaid shared the footage from the set, where a massive siege battle sequence is being staged. The speculation now is that Gladiator 2 might focus, at least in part, on the Roman Empire’s expansion into North Africa.
Gladiator 2 is the long-awaited follow-up to Scott’s 2001 Best Picture Oscar winner, which followed the tortured journey of former general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), who went from valor to ruin after his might on the battlefield and natural way of leading men were seen as a threat to the self-appointed emperor of Rome, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix.) So, what was a sociopathic man-child like Commodus going to do about a natural leader like Maximus stealing his thunder? How about murdering Maximus’s wife and children and have him sold into slavery, where, eventually, he ends up fighting as a gladiator for the amusement of the masses and none other than Commodus himself. Gladiator tracked Maxmius’s bloody path of vengeance against Commodus, in which he fought in the gladiator ring as ‘The Spaniard,’ ultimately getting his chance to take on Commodus. He’s successful, but it cost him his life.
The sequel is reportedly centered on Paul Mescal’s Lucius, the nephew of Commodus and the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla (she co-starred in the original and returns for the sequel) and is based on a script by David Scarpa, who also wrote the script for Scott’s upcoming film Napoleon (which stars Joaquin Phoenix). The character of Lucius appeared in the original Gladiator (played by Spencer Treat Clar) as a boy, and the youngster greatly admired the brave Spaniard. The sequel will follow him as a young man, as he forges his own path to glory on what will surely be a dangerous path.
Returning from the original alongside Nielsen is Djimon Hounsou as the gladiator Juba. Newcomers joining Paul Mescal are none other than Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, Moon Knight star May Calamawy, and everyone’s favorite rising star, Pedro Pascal.
Gladiator 2 is slated to hit theaters on November 22, 2024.
For more on Gladiator 2, check out these stories:
Pedro Pascal Nearing Role in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” Sequel
Barry Keoghan is Circling Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” Sequel With Paul Mescal
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Featured image: Ridley Scott at Landmark Theatre on January 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.