Gladiator 2 will have a connection to Russell Crowe’s Maximus thanks to Pedro Pascal’s character: "This movie has an identity that is shaped by his legacy"

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Gladiator 2 star Pedro Pascal says his character Marcus Acacius and Russell Crowe's Maximus Decimus Meridius have something in common.

"This movie has an identity that is shaped by his legacy. It wouldn’t make sense for it not to,” Pascal told Vanity Fair, describing Acacius as a fighter who "learned from the best so of course this code of honor is ingrained into his training and into his existence." Per Vanity Fair, Acacius is a Roman general said to have trained as a junior officer under Crowe’s character. Crowe has no involvement in the sequel (though he may appear in some archival footage).

Continued Pascal: "But at the end of the day, he’s a different person. And that can’t change who he is. Maximus is Maximus, and that can’t be replicated. That just makes Acacius capable of different things."

Ridley Scott returns to direct from a screenplay by David Scarpa (Napoleon). The sequel stars Paul Mescal as Lucius Verus, the heir to the former empire. Scott described the character as a man living "in the wilderness" after being separated from his family for 15 years.

The cast includes Joseph Quinn as Emperor Caracalla, Denzel Washington as a former-slave-turned-wealthy-merchant, Fred Hechinger as co-emperor Geta, with Derek Jacobi reprising his role as Senator Gracchus and Connie Nielsen reprising her role as Lucilla.

Gladiator is set to hit theaters on November 22 in the US and November 15 in the UK. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2024 and beyond, or, skip straight to the good stuff with our list of movie release dates.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.