Even Without Russell Crowe, Paul Mescal Starrer Gladiator 2 Blows Executives’ Minds

Ridley Scott edited nearly 90 minutes of Gladiator 2 footage during the period of the strike which impressed the executives at Paramount

Even Without Russell Crowe, Paul Mescal Starrer Gladiator 2 Blows Executives' Minds


  • Paul Mescal replaced Russell Crowe as the lead in the Gladiator sequel, along with a new cast including Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal.
  • Ridley Scott has completed editing some footage of the film during the strikes and executives are blown away by it.
  • The film is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2024, and the new update promises a film that will win accolades just like its predecessor.
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Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, and Pedro Pascal have joined forces in Ridley Scott’s sequel to the Oscar-winning film, Gladiator. The movie’s production was interrupted by the SAG-AFTRA strikes, however, the filming was completed in January. New reports suggest that executives, who have seen the edited footage of Scott’s Gladiator 2, are blown away by his work.

Paul Mescal in a still from Normal People
Normal People star Paul Mescal will play the lead Lucius in Gladiator 2

Paul Mescal plays Lucius Verus in the film, who appeared as a child in the first film, played by Spencer Treat Clark. He is the son of Lucilla and has been living in the wilderness, with his mother thinking that he might be dead.

Paul Mescal’s Gladiator 2 Footage Has Already Impressed The Executives

Paul Mescal replaced Russell Crowe in the sequel, but the film footage has blown away executives
Paul Mescal replaced Russell Crowe in the sequel, but the film footage has blown away executives

Paul Mescal‘s Gladiator 2 started production in May 2023 in Malta and Morocco. The filming was supposed to wrap up in late 2023, but the SAG-AFTRA strikes caused a halt in production. The studio was concerned whether the delay in production would affect the announced release date on November 22, 2024. Ridley Scott revealed that he was done with almost 85% of the film at the time and only needed 10 more days. Scott told IndieWire:


“I’ve now finished almost 85 percent of Gladiator [2]. We were interrupted by the strike, so I lost four months. Otherwise, right now I’d be mixing it. I went back about four weeks ago after the strike and nearly finished before Christmas, and I’ve got to go back 10 days to finish. It’s a real pain.”

Since Gladiator 2 completed a good portion of its filming before the strikes, Scott used the strike period to edit the available footage. In a profile interview with The New Yorker, the Napoleon director revealed that he had edited 90 minutes of the movie. He even mentioned completing the editing on a scene where a character fought a group of baboons. After the SAG-AFTRA deal was made, the studio marked the film as a priority movie to complete.

The production resumed in December 2023, and the filming was completed in January, as indicated by Paul Mescal’s Instagram story appearing alongside Scott. According to a recent report in Deadline, executives were blown away by Ridley Scott’s edited footage of Gladiator 2. The report sounds promising about the sequel film, which looks to garner all the acclaim and accolades just like its predecessor.

Why Russell Crowe Didn’t Return For Gladiator 2?

Russell Crowe in a still from Gladiator
Russell Crowe in a still from Gladiator

The most obvious reason for Russell Crowe‘s absence in the sequel movie is that he succumbed to his wounds and died at the end of the first film, after exacting his revenge against Commodus. However, there was a version of a sequel in development, where Maximus was resurrected by the Roman Gods. This idea was scrapped later, and Scott decided to take his sequel in a different direction.


Crowe opened up about the sequel while appearing on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio One. During the interview, he admitted that he was jealous of the new star, Paul Mescal, who would get to experience the costumes and the situation as he did. Crowe revealed that when he looked back to those days, he loved every minute spent on the Gladiator set, even though he didn’t think so at the time of filming. Russell Crowe shared with The Ryan Tubridy Show:

“I don’t want to dwell on it too much because it does take me back to a period of time when obviously I was significantly younger. And you know, the rose-colored glasses of that experience now are perfectly crystallized. I look back on it and I loved every minute of it, and that wasn’t actually the case at the time. I do like being on a period movie set. Stepping into those sorts of costumes and those sorts of situations and stuff, it has great appeal to me. There’s a slight edge of jealousy that people get to have that experience that I had once.”

While the sequel will hit theaters on November 22, 2024, the original 2000 Gladiator is now available for streaming on Paramount+.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1238

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.