Paramount Pictures recently unveiled the initial glimpse of the eagerly awaited Gladiator 2, offering a peek into the Roman narrative left unfinished from the first installment.

Paul Mescal from the preview of Gladiator 2

The preview made its debut on Paramount’s official YouTube platform, with the film set to hit theaters on November 22. The adrenaline-fueled historical saga is helmed by Ridley Scott and boasts a star-studded lineup including Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and Denzel Washington.

Responses from viewers have been quite diverse. Some devoted fans believe that the original movie was strong enough to stand alone. A Redditor raises a pertinent query: “The narrative reached its conclusion… What could a sequel possibly offer?”

Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel
Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel

Another user expresses, “An unnecessary attempt at milking profits. Perhaps some will pay to view it, but not me.”

Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel
Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel

On the other hand, rather than a sequel, fans suggest that a prequel could have been a better choice. A disappointed fan on the same forum expresses, “This appears to be more about milking blockbusters for money than anything else. Undoubtedly, it will entertain, but it may lack the same emotional depth. It would be preferable if they focused on creating better sequels and devoted the necessary time to honoring past achievements instead of churning out subpar content.”

Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel
Comment section from the Reddit thread titled: Gladiator Sequel

Additional criticisms centered around the unpopular music selection, as the preview includes a track by the contentious artist Ye West. The background tune is No Church in the Wild by Jay-Z, West, Frank Ocean, and The Dream. Initially featured in the 2011 album, Watch the Throne, the lyrics are said to hold significance in relation to the film. However, most fans have voiced their dismay over the juxtaposition of a contemporary hip-hop track with a period drama.

Theo Priestley commented on X, “Contrast the new preview with the original, and a significant portion of the impact is diminished by the use of generic trailer scores and modern music attempting to inject a ‘cool’ factor. This tale is about ancient Rome, not modern urban settings. Furthermore, the new preview is twice as lengthy but with half the substance.”

Another X user remarked, “The trailer for #Gladiator2 has been released. Let’s remember that modern music in the preview doesn’t necessarily imply the same for the film as a whole. I suspect it won’t persist. However, can we consider the presence of a rhino rider? It all seems enjoyable, but that might push the boundaries of believability too far.”

The narrative traces Lucius, the son of Lucilla, portrayed by Paul, as he endeavors to carry forward Maximus’ legacy. Reports indicate that Ridley has dedicated considerable time to developing the sequel, so there is still room for optimism until the actual release of the movie.