Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington Star in Sequel 5

Paul Mescal is ready to enter the arena in the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s sequel movie Gladiator II.

Paramount Pictures releases the historical drama feature in theaters on Nov. 22. Starring Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn and Connie Nielsen, the film is director Scott’s follow-up to his 2000 epic Gladiator that starred Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix and collected five Oscars, including best picture.

Set several decades after the events of the first movie, Gladiator II centers on Lucius (Mescal) — the grandson of former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius — who resides with his family in Numidia. After ending up in slavery following an invasion led by Roman general Marcus Acacius (Pascal), Lucius follows the inspiration of Maximus (played by Crowe in the original Gladiator) and focuses on competing as a gladiator.

Scott directed Gladiator II from a script by David Scarpa. Scott, Lucy Fisher, David Franzoni, Michael Pruss and Douglas Wick serve as producers.

Paramount debuted footage from the sequel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas earlier this year, where Scott said in a featurette of the new film, “It is possibly even more extraordinary than the first.” He added that despite arriving more than two decades after Gladiator, the follow-up feature is “well worth the wait.”

Gladiator II is a big swing for Paramount and comes as the studio’s parent company is set to be acquired by a consortium led by Skydance. The sequel saw its budget expand over the course of a shoot that was put on pause last year amid Hollywood’s strikes. The first Gladiator was the second-highest grossing title of 2000, surpassing $465 million at the global box office ($848 million today).

Paul Mescal in Gladiator II.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Mescal is known for his breakout role in the series Normal People, in addition to his work in the features Aftersun, All of Us Strangers and Foe.

The Hollywood Reporter recently included Mescal on its list of 10 performers who comprise Hollywood’s new A-list, alongside such stars as Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Jenna Ortega. Said one executive, “Every filmmaker loves Paul Mescal.”

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