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Paul Mescal’s ‘Gladiator 2’ Rocks CineEurope With Epic New Footage

While the seemingly never-ending saga over Paramount‘s future ownership may be still rumbling on, the studio didn’t hold back when it came to putting on a grand spectacle at the 2024 CineEurope trade show.

Gladiator 2” was — unsurprisingly — the main event of Paramount’s slate presentation in Barcelona. Ridley Scott’s return to Ancient Rome after almost 25 years was given top billing with a giant cardboard coliseum erected around the main auditorium, flanked by stern-faced Roman legionnaires. Audiences at CinemaCon in the U.S. may have gotten the first look at the hotly-anticipated sequel — starring a bulked-out Paul Mescal in the lead role — but across the Atlantic, CineEurope attendees were treated to some epic and never-before-seen extended footage featuring Mescal and co-star Pedro Pascal, alongside an as-yet-unreleased trailer. Denzel Washington, Connie Nielson, Joseph Quinn and Djimon Housou also star in the film, due out Nov. 15.

In a video introduction, Scott said that, despite the near-quarter century that has passed since the first “Gladiator,” the sequel was “well worth the wait.” Meanwhile, Paramount’s president of international theatrical distribution Mark Viane said it featured some of the “biggest action sequences ever put on film.”

Even before the presentation began, the studio underlined its excitement about “Gladiator 2” by showing an extremely tongue-in-cheek comedy video — especially made for CineEurope — featuring Viane and various members of his team dressed as Romans and gladiators as they acted out scenes from the original movie, replacing the dialog for industry in-jokes (Variety got a mention). In this version of the story, however, Viane’s afterlife wasn’t the corn fields of Elysium, but the golf course.

Elsewhere in the presentation, Paramount showcased the shocking and bloody first 5 minutes of “Smile 2,” the sequel to 2022’s horror that became a surprise box office smash, making $217 million globally. The sequel is due out Oct. 18.

Two new extended scenes from the upcoming animated origin story “Transformers One” — set for release in September — were showcased, this time in 3D, while Paramount also teased “Paw Patrol 3,” the fourth instalment in the “Smurfs” franchise (which Rihanna is writing several songs for) and offered an exclusive sneak peak at “Sonic 3.”

Despite a release date just days away, Paramount also served up an extended scene from prequel “A Quiet Place: Day One,” set before the other two titles in the $638 million-earning franchise and on the day the aurally advanced aliens first invaded Earth. Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn star in the film, with the two introducing the footage via a video clip and assuring CineEurope that the film would keep audiences “on the edge of their seats.”

“A Quiet Place: Day One” launches in the U.S. on June 28.

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