• Gladiator 2
    may explore real historical events from the Severan dynasty, providing a more accurate depiction of Ancient Rome.
  • Ridley Scott’s views on historical accuracy raise doubts about the faithful representation in the sequel.
  • The casting of Joseph Quinn as Caracalla hints at potential flashbacks and a deeper dive into Roman history.



Though the first movie was largely fictitious, a pair of historians share their predictions on which real-world events will be in Gladiator 2‘s story. The sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 historical epic features an all-star cast that includes Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Pedro Parcal, May Calamawy, and Joseph Quinn, while Connie Nielsen and Derek Jacobi are set to reprise their roles of Lucilla and Roman Senator Grachus. Gladiator 2 is currently slated to release in theaters on November 22.

While Gladiator 2‘s story is shrouded in mystery, History Hit has united archaeologists Dr. Simon Elliott and Tristan Hughes to investigate whether the past could inform the plot of the movie.

Using the age of Mescal’s older Lucius Verus during the Severan dynasty of Emperors from 193 to 235, of which Quinn’s Emperor Caracalla belongs to, and the campaigns of predecessor Septimius Severus could point to a North Africa or North Britain settings. Both historians also used the dynasty to speculate about potential flashbacks to before Caracella’s reign through the Severan dynasty’s rise to power, including the pivotal Battle of Lugdunnun.

Does Historical Accuracy Matter To Ridley Scott Movies?

Russell Crowe looking serious as Maximus in Gladiator

Gladiator 2 seems guaranteed to be more faithful to historical Rome compared to earlier sequel premises that featured an immortal and resurrected Maximus (Russell Crowe) in battles between Christianity’s rise and Pagan deities that would leave the former gladiator living until the modern day. However, the original film’s story sets up mixed expectations for whether the sequel will accurately depict history. While certain societal concepts, dynamics, and conflicts were faithful to the past, Maximus and other characters’ characterizations, and the power structures of Rome failed to live up to their real-world counterparts.


Gladiator True Story & Historical Accuracy: How Much Really Happened

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is based in the history of ancient Rome, but while the movie is accurate in some areas, it take poetic license in others.

Furthermore, Scott’s own contentious views on whether historical accuracy should take priority over the spectacle of cinema may suggest that Gladiator 2 may not be the faithful visit to Ancient Rome viewers may desire. Once promotion for Scott’s exploration of pivotal French leader Napoleon Bonaparte in 2023’s Napoleon received criticism from historians for how it depicted his campaigns, the director responded by stating “Get a life“, explaining that exaggerated or fabricated events were used to emphasize the effect he sees the figures as leaving. This has resulted in skepticism over Scott’s approach to history from some viewers.

While discussions around historical accuracy may come second to Scott’s vision for Gladiator 2, History Hit‘s discussion is nevertheless a fascinating discussion of a little-known period of the Roman era. With Quinn’s casting as Caracalla confirmed, the two experts’ speculation does hold some weight as the character would be alive following the 15-year time gap between each movie. As such, as viewers eagerly await their first official glimpse of Gladiator 2, many may be inspired to dive into history to uncover more of what the era could offer Mescal’s older Lucius.

Gladiator is available to stream on Paramount+.

Source: History Hit

Gladiator 2 Temp Movie Logo

Gladiator 2

Gladiator 2 is the follow-up to Ridley Scott’s award-winning film Gladiator from 2000. Scott returns to direct the sequel, with Paul Mescal staring as Lucius, alongside Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan as the villain Emperor Geta. Gladiator 2 had been stuck in development hell for years before a script written by David Scarpa finally moved forward.

Release Date
November 22, 2024

Paramount Pictures , Universal Pictures , Scott Free Productions , Red Wagon Entertainment

Paramount Pictures

David Scarpa

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