Among the young actors in Hollywood who have enjoyed a rapid ascent is Paul Mescal, the Irish star who gained fame as the sad boy Connell in “Normal People.” In only a few years, the 28 year-old actor has found himself among Hollywood royalty, with his biggest movie coming out this year: “Gladiator 2,” directed by Ridley Scott.

After his breakthrough in the BBC series, Mescal quickly started working in cinema. Some of his credits include “The Lost Daughter,” “Aftersun,” for which he earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor; and most recently, “Foe” and “All of Us Strangers,” with Andrew Scott. However, all of these films are all small in scale compared to the upcoming historical epic.

Set 15 years after the events of the first movie, which earned Russell Crowe his first Oscar, Mescal will show a new side of himself on the screen. “I don’t think it’s something that people will expect from me—which is always a nice position to be in,” the actor told Vanity Fair in January 2024. So, here’s everything to know about the film.

Gladiator 2: When is the movie coming out?

“Gladiator II” will have a wide release in theaters on November 22, 2024. It’s already one of the most anticipated films of the year. The movie was filmed through 2023 (before the Hollywood Strikes) and wrapped filming in January 2024.

Gladiator 2 plot: What is the movie about?

While on the press tour for “Napoleon,” Scott revealed that Mescal is playing Lucius, Lucilla’s son. The director confirmed that he has been living “in the wilderness” with no connection with his mother, who thinks he might be dead. In the first trailer of the movie, shown at the 2024 CinemaCon, it was shown that Mescal’s character is inspired by Maximus (Crowe’s character in the original) to become a gladiator.

Gladiator 2 cast: Who else is in the film?

Apart from Mescal, the epic boasts a star-studded cast. Denzel Washington will play an arms and commodity dealer with a grudge against the emperors. Meanwhile, Joseph Quinn plays co-emperor Caracalla and Fred Hechinger plays co-emperor Geta. The latter was supposed to be played by Barry Keoghan, who pulled out of the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Joseph Quinn and Pedro Pascal are part of the cast of Gladiator 2 (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Joseph Quinn and Pedro Pascal are part of the cast of Gladiator 2 (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

According to the first footage, Pedro Pascal plays a Roman general forced to become a gladiator. Connie Nielsen will return as Lucilla, who was Maximus’ former lover and older sister of Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix in the original). The rest of the cast includes Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus, a member of the Roman Senate, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, Matt Lucas, May Calamawy and Tim McInnerny.