Gladiator 2: Oscars Chances For Paul Mescal And Co. Explored

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James Leyfield

Updated by James Leyfield


Last Updated 18th Jun 2024, 01:51 PM

Gladiator 2: Oscars Chances For Paul Mescal And Co. Explored

What are the odds of Paul Mescal winning this year's Oscar for his role in Gladiator II? (Image: AP Photo/Alamy)

It's been 24 years since big screen blockbuster Gladiator arrived on our screens to plenty of Oscar buzz, and a sequel is now just months away.

Russell Crowe led the cast of the original 2000 movie, portraying Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, but the follow up is expected to take place around 20 years later.

Normal People star Paul Mescal, Hollywood legend Denzel Washington, Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal, and Wonder Woman actress Connie Nielsen will go into battle as part of the Gladiator 2 cast, but could the critics become their enemies?

Gladiator was a huge critical success and was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, scooping five gongs, including a Best Actor prize for Crowe.

The Kiwi actor wowed in scenes such as Maximus' chilling "Are you not entertained?" Coliseum call after the character had dispatched several gladiators.

But will Gladiator 2 be soundly defeated on the awards battlefield, or will the Academy be entertained once again. 

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Gladiator 2's Tough Task

The movie has been in the spotlight again lately after Mescal - who will play Lucius Verus, a former heir to the Empire - was spotted filming re-shoots in East Sussex, and just this week Crowe has been vocal about what the motion picture may look like.

Before the film goes into battle with the critics, it may need to convince some Gladiator super-fans first, as there has been a mixed reaction about the sequel and there is no sign of a trailer.

Odds On How Many Oscars Gladiator 2 Will Win

While it will be interesting to see what director Ridley Scott can do with a follow up, aided by the advantages of modern technology, some think the Gladiator movie should've remained as it was, a one-off, epic historical drama. 

It will be a tough ask to make a sequel success of the Best Picture-winning film, which also won Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects, as well as Crowe's Best Actor prize, at the 2021 Academy Awards.

Odds On Paul Mescal Winning An Oscar For Gladiator 2

While fans are yet to even see a trailer for Gladiator 2, some have speculated that a Best Picture nomination could well be on the cards, partly because of the hype surrounding the motion picture and the cast being such a big draw.

Even if it avoids a Best Picture nod, Gladiator 2 could still triumph in other categories, and the movie is currently 2/1 to pick up a brace of Oscars at next year's ceremony, and 5/2 for one.

It could be a battle of the sequels and a prequel at the 2025 Academy Awards, as Dune 2 and Joker: Folie à Deux odds for potential Oscar contention are also discussed, as is the prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

Sequels don't always perform well at the Oscars, and only two have won the Best Picture accolade - 1974 movie The Godfather Part II and 2003's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

It is just 3/1 that Gladiator 2 is left empty-handed at next year's Oscars, while it could be an even tougher task for Mescal to land his first-ever Academy Award.

He is 7/2 to win the Best Actor accolade, as, just like Maximums, he could come up against stiff competition.

The likes of Joker: Folie à Deux's Joaquin Phoenix, Sing Sing's Colman Domingo, and Daniel Craig for forthcoming film Queer, could all be in contention in 2025.

Gladiator 2's High Box Office Hopes

But there is still plenty to look forward to for Gladiator enthusiasts.

Odds On Gladiator 2 Outperforming Gladiator At Worldwide Box Office

The star-studded cast alone should attract a huge following in theatres, and it's just 1/2 that Gladiator 2 out-performs its predecessor at the worldwide box office.

Gladiator grossed $465.4 million worldwide at the box office, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2000 behind Mission: Impossible 2's $546.4 million.

Gladiator 2 is said to have a budget of $310 million, up from $165 million when the film was initially greenlit - and it would surely go down as a huge flop if it didn't surpass $465.4 million at the worldwide box office.

The movie will no doubt have a legion of new fans, coming 24 years after the original, and perhaps even some who aren't used to watching epic historical dramas.

Mescal rose to fame in romantic drama miniseries Normal People, while Little Britain comedian Matt Lucas is also part of the cast. 

Crowe Is Not Entertained

One character who isn't expected to return is Crowe's iconic Maximus, who died in Gladiator.

Odds On Russell Crowe Appearing In Gladiator 2

The actor has previously admitted the role "changed my life" and "changed the way people regarded me and what I do for a living".

More recently, Crowe admitted he is "slightly uncomfortable" about a Gladiator sequel being made, because he has "no say" in what will happen in the film.

"But a couple of the things I’ve heard, I’m like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not in the moral journey of that particular character.’ But I can’t say anything, it’s not my place, I’m six foot under. So we’ll see what that is like." - Crowe added.

russell crowe as gladiator

Crowe has previously denied speculation that he will appear in a flashback scene, and he is 6/4 not to star in the sequel.

However, with the movie expected to be set just a couple of decades after the original, an afterlife scene or two can't be entirely ruled out.

What's more, Crowe recently sparked speculation that he would be appearing in Gladiator 2 when he was spotted in Malta last year, where the motion picture was being shot.

Crowe is just 4/6 to appear at some point in Gladiator, and it seems like it would be an opportunity missed if he didn't have a cameo role.

Will we be entertained? Time will tell.

Meet The Author

James Leyfield
James Leyfield
Writer Writer

James Leyfield is a highly experienced betting entertainment writer. Having worked alongside several premium national media outlets, and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of gambling writing in the entertainment sector, alongside sports.

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