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Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal join the Roman Empire

It’s time to get back in the ring, as Paramount Pictures has unveiled the official trailer for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, starring Paul Mescal as the adult Lucius. The highly anticipated sequel is set to hit theaters on November 22.

Lucius is the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the nephew of Commodus, the antagonist of the original film played by Joaquin Phoenix. In the original Gladiator film, he was played as a child by Spencer Treat Clark.

The sequel picks up many years later, with Lucius living in the North African region of Numidia, where he was sent by his mother as a child because it was beyond the reach of the Roman Empire. Events bring Lucius back to Rome as a gladiator, where he makes new enemies and is reunited with his mother.

The supporting cast includes Pedro Pascal as Marcus Acacius, a Roman general who trained under Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator’s Russell Crowe); Denzel Washington as Macrinus, a wealthy Roman stockbroker who maintains a stable of gladiators for sport; and Joseph Quinn and Fred Hechinger as the twin emperors of Rome.

Ridley Scott recently told Vanity Fair that he became a fan of Mescal after watching the actor’s breakout performance in “Normal People.” The two had only been talking for about a half-hour when Scott decided that Mescal would be his leading man in “Gladiator 2.” The actor bulked up so much for the film that his co-star Pascal told the publication that fighting him in the arena was pretty tough. Pascal even gave Mescal a nickname on set: “Brick Wall Paul.”

“He’s gotten so strong. I’d rather get thrown out of a building than fight him again,” Pascal added. “To have to face someone so fit, so talented, so younger… It’s brutal, man.”

In the original Gladiator, Russell Crowe played Maximus, a Roman general who is betrayed by Commodus and brought into captivity to fight as a gladiator in an attempt to avenge his family. Maximus also saves the lives of Lucius and Lucilla. The film was a box office success and won several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Watch the trailer below.