Paul Mescal shares hopes for Barbenheimer-like Wicked and Gladiator II experience

Virgin Radio

10 Jul 2024, 14:18

Paul Mescal in Gladiator II and Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked

Credit: Paramount/Universal Pictures

Paul Mescal has revealed he’s hoping for a Barbenheimer-like event surrounding the release of Gladiator II and Wicked this November.

The two films - the former of which he leads - are both due for release on 22nd November 2024, so it’s possible that audiences could become similarly enthusiastic about pairing the films together as they did for 2023’s Barbie and Oppenheimer’s joint release date last July.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight on the same day the first trailer for Sir Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel was released, the Normal People star said: “Wickdiator doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? I think my preference would probably be Glicked if it has a similar effect to what it did for Barbie and Oppenheimer.



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“It would be amazing cause I think the films couldn’t be more polar opposites,” he added. “And it worked in that context previously. So, fingers crossed people come out and see both films on opening weekend.”

Sharing what he’s most excited about fans getting to experience from the Gladiator sequel, which takes place two decades after the events of the first film, Mescal said: “I think the main thing that I'm excited about is the homage that it pays to the first one, but also the kind of new direction that the film takes.

“I think it's well balanced in that regard in terms of the physical action of the film and the balance of the kind of political aspects of the film as well.”

The All of Us Strangers and Aftersun star’s words echoed those of fellow star Joseph Quinn, who hinted at the premiere of his latest film A Quiet Place: Day One that the film “looks like everything [fans] could possibly want.”

“It’s paying homage to the first film, but very much making its own thing. There’s some fantastic performances in it, and I’m very much looking forward to people seeing it,” he added.

Gladiator II’s official synopsis teases: "From legendary director Ridley Scott, Gladiator II continues the epic saga of power, intrigue, and vengeance set in Ancient Rome. 

“Years after witnessing the death of the revered hero Maximus at the hands of his uncle, Lucius (Paul Mescal) is forced to enter the Colosseum after his home is conquered by the tyrannical Emperors who now lead Rome with an iron fist. With rage in his heart and the future of the Empire at stake, Lucius must look to his past to find strength and honour to return the glory of Rome to its people.”

Gladiator II and Wicked will be released in cinemas on Friday 22nd November.