We Can Finally Watch the Trailer for Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator II'

Paul Mescal stars as Lucius in "Gladiator II," in theaters November 2024. (Paramount Pictures)

A sequel to the 2000 blockbuster film "Gladiator" has been a long time coming, but the trailer is finally here.

Russell Crowe commissioned musician Nick Cave to write a script for a sequel in 2018. For those who haven't seen the first film after 24 years -- spoiler alert -- Crowe's character, Maximus, dies. In Cave's sequel, the general-turned-gladiator is reborn in the afterlife to fight the gods before joining his old pal Juba (Djimon Hounsou, "Amistad") on Earth to fight forever -- including in the Crusades, both world wars and Vietnam, just to name a few.

That is not the sequel that will be released in theaters on Nov. 22, 2024.

Instead, "Gladiator II" follows Lucius (the emperor's nephew in the first movie, who is also Maximus' son) now forced into the arena after his home is sacked by officials who fought for the throne after Maximus killed Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix, "Joker") in the original. Like his hero Maximus, Lucius has to fight in an attempt to restore Rome to its former glory.

The years that followed Commodus' death in the real-word Roman Empire were fraught with upheaval and civil strife. Commodus was actually strangled by a wrestler in the year 192, and five different leaders rose to claim the throne of the empire, with varying degrees of success. Starting the next year, assassinations, civil wars and political intrigue became the norm among the Roman elite, finally ending in the sole rule of Emperor Septimius Severus in 197.

Severus' sons, Caracalla and Geta, became co-emperors upon his death by illness in 211. Those who might want spoilers for the upcoming movie (which, like "Gladiator," is likely loosely based on actual Roman history), can just do some light reading on the relatively brief reign of Caracalla.

"Gladiator II" picks up the story of Lucius (Paul Mescal, "All of Us Strangers") where the first movie left off. Connie Nielsen reprises her role as Lucilla, Lucius' mother, while Caracalla (Fred Hechinger, "News of the World") and Geta (Joseph Quinn, "Stranger Things") are the emperors of Rome. Pedro Pascal joins the cast as Marcus Acacius, a powerful Roman general once trained by Maximus, who captures Lucius in Numidia (modern-day Algeria, Tunisia and Libya). Denzel Washington plays Macrinus, who also has his eyes set on the throne.

"Gladiator II" is still unrated, but will be in theaters everywhere (including IMAX) on Nov. 22, 2024.

Keep Up With the Best in Military Entertainment

Whether you're looking for news and entertainment, thinking of joining the military or keeping up with military life and benefits, Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to the Military.com newsletter to have military news, updates and resources delivered straight to your inbox.

Story Continues