First “Gladiator II” Trailer Sees Paul Mescal Stepping Into the Arena

After years in the making, Gladiator II is finally coming our way this fall, and the first trailer gave us a taste of things to come. Paul Mescal leads the cast of the long-awaited sequel as Lucius Verus, who went from being the former heir to the Roman Empire to fighting for his life as a gladiator.

Lucius Verus was a side character in the first film, when he was introduced as the young son of Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla. Two decades later, he lives in obscurity in the coastal town of Numidia, until he’s plucked from his home by the Roman army.

He’s forced into slavery and must fight for his freedom in the arena, side by side alongside other gladiators. Inspired by the tale of Maximus, he’s determined to use his time in the Colosseum to challenge the rule of emperors Caracalla and Geta.

Normal People’s Paul Mescal is taking over from Russell Crowe as the leading man, and he’ll be joined by Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, plus Fred Hechinger, Derek Jacobi, May Calamawy, Tim McInnerny, Alexander Karim, and Rory McCann in supporting roles.

Gladiator II is set to premiere in international theatres on November 15, before heading to North America on November 22.