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Ridley Scott Teases Denzel Washington’s ‘Rich Guy with a Grudge’ Role in Gladiator 2


  • Denzel Washington collaborates again with director Ridley Scott in Gladiator 2, showcasing his exceptional talent in Hollywood and his track record of award-winning performances.
  • Scott reveals that Washington’s character in Gladiator 2 is a rich man with a simmering grudge against his oppressors, promising a compelling narrative that explores his backstory and capture.
  • Russell Crowe expresses nostalgia and a touch of envy for the upcoming sequel, reminiscing about the impact of the original Gladiator and expressing confidence in Ridley Scott’s ability to reevaluate and enhance the story for a spectacular cinematic experience.

In the upcoming Gladiator 2, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is set to collaborate once again with director Ridley Scott. Over the years, Washington has established himself as one of the most exceptional talents in Hollywood, earning accolades and recognition for his outstanding performances in films such as The Tragedy of Macbeth, Malcolm X, and The Equalizer, among many others. His track record includes two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in Glory and another for Best Actor in Training Day.

In an interview with Total Film magazine (via GamesRadar), Scott shed light on Washington’s character in Gladiator 2. He described the character as a “rich guy” who carries a simmering grudge against his oppressors, setting the stage for a compelling narrative in the sequel. The film promises to delve into his backstory, exploring the circumstances of his capture and branding.

“As for Denzel’s character… There were businesses of gladiators who could indeed earn their freedom if they stayed alive. That was the deal. So we went right into that, in-depth. Where did he come from? How was he taken? He was branded with marks and registered with a brand on his chest as a slave. So that’s how he comes into the story. He’s a rich guy who’s still carrying a grudge.”

RELATED: Gladiator 2: Here’s What the Movie Needs to Include to Live Up to the Original

Gladiator 2 Embarks on A New Journey with Paul Mescal

Sony Pictures Classics

In Gladiator 2, Russell Crowe’s iconic Maximus will not make an appearance, leaving the leading role to be taken up by Paul Mescal as an adult Lucius. Alongside him, familiar faces from the original movie, such as Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), former gladiator Juba (Djimon Hounsou), and Senator Gracchus (Derek Jacobi), will guide him on his path.

During a presentation at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Crowe expressed a sense of nostalgia and a touch of envy regarding the upcoming sequel. He reminisced about the impact the original Gladiator had on his youth and life. He also acknowledged that he doesn’t know anything about the cast or plot of the sequel, given Maximus’s fate in the first film. However, Crowe has confidence in director Ridley Scott’s ability to reevaluate and enhance the story, anticipating that Gladiator 2 will undoubtedly be a spectacular cinematic experience when it hits the screen.

“I admit to a certain tinge of jealousy, because it reminds me not only of my youth, but of what that meant for me in my life. It was a timewarp for a couple of seconds. I don’t know anything about the cast or plot – well I wouldn’t, because I’m dead – [but] whoever’s involved in that movie, if Ridley has decided to do a second part to that story, he will have really strong reasons. It’s very typical of Ridley to rethink everything that he’s done and know how to make it better. I couldn’t think of that movie being anything less than absolutely spectacular when it does come out.”

Gladiator 2 is set to hit theaters on November 22, 2024.


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