Skip to main content


'Gladiator 2' co-starring Chilean American actor Pedro Pascal set for release this November

Pascal’s family has deep political ties embedded in Chile’s left. The Ridley Scott sequel co-stars Oscar-nominee Paul Mescal and academy award winner Denzel Washington.

Pedro Pascal arrives for HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ premiere on January 09, 2023 in Westwood, CA
Pedro Pascal arrives for HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ premiere on January 09, 2023 in Westwood, CA | Shutterstock

January 18, 2024 11:45am

Updated: January 18, 2024 11:45am

Chilean American actor Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, and Paul Mescal are ready to follow in Russell Crowe’s footsteps into the Roman Colosseum, at least on screen that is.

The three Hollywood A-listers are co-starring in the much anticipated “Gladiator 2,” a sequel to the first 2000 film, which swept the academy awards. The film is set for release on Nov. 22.

Pascal is from Santiago, who moved to Orange County, California when he was 11 years old. He pursued acting at the Orange County School of the Arts before attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Manhattan.

The film is not the first time that Pascal has had the opportunity to work with academy award winner Denzel Washington. The two co-starred in Equalizer 2 in 2018.

The original Gladiator film depicted Crowe as a Spanish commander of Rome’s Northern Empire. His character, General Maximus becomes a quick target of Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelias after the young royal assassinates his father to steal the crown.

Throughout the film, Marcus Aurelias’ grandson, Lucius cheers for Maximum at his own peril and his uncle, Commodus is threatened by his potential rise to power. The movie climaxes to a final battle in the Roman Colosseum in which Maximus takes his revenge on Commodus, proving right over might, and inspiring young Lucius.

While the theme of the sequel, directed by Ridley Scott, remains a mystery, the first film’s star, Russell Crowe believes it could revolve around Lucius’ story.

Pascal’s anticipated role is that he could be seeking revenge on another oppressive Roman emperor, and fans are waiting to see if he’ll formally fight in the arena.

Meanwhile, the film’s main star, played by Mescal, said he’s a bit nervous about all the attention he may be getting.

In an interview with the Times UK, the 27-year-old Irish Oscar-nominated actor said he’s in awe of the facthe may soon become a worldwide household name.

“I don’t know what the difference will be,” Mescal said of the film’s anticipated impact. “Maybe that’s naive? Is it just that more people will stop you in the street? I’d get profoundly depressed if that’s so and hope it isn’t true. I’ll have an answer next year, but if [the film] impacts my life in that way, I’ll be in a bad spot. I’d have to move on and do an obtuse play nobody wants to see.”

Mescal previously played in films such as “All of Us Strangers, “Normal People” and “Aftersun.”

The young athlete turned to acting while growing up in Maynooth, outside Dublin. He began studying theater while at Trinity College Dublin. He told the British newspaper he still misses football but takes acting “very seriously.”

“What are we doing this for?” Mescal asked. “It scares me greatly. Acting should never be reduced to numbers of Instagram followers.”

Mescal said he wants his work to mean something, and that popularity is last on the list of his priorities.

“Over the last few years, people have been talking about films and TV shows as content. That’s a filthy word. It’s not ‘content’, it’s f–king work. I’m not being snobby, but there are two concurrent industries. One that works with a lack of care and artistic integrity. Go nuts, make stuff with Instagram followers as a factor, whatever … But the other is what’s always been there, the craft of filmmaking, directing, lighting and production design. That keeps artists alive. And audiences want to be challenged.”

He hopes that the Gladiator sequel will make people think and honor the first film while remaining true to its own storyline.

“I feel really excited, but, like, it’s difficult to get away from the legacy of the film a bit,” he told Esquire magazine in an August 2023 interview. “I think it’s really well written and it pays homage to the first one, but it’s very much something that I think I can step into and make comfortably my own.”

Pascal’s family has deep political ties embedded in Chile’s left.

His mother was the cousin of Andrés Pascal Allende, the nephew of Chile’s Marxist president, Salvador Allende, one of the original leaders of the militant far left Movement of the Revolutionary Left.

“The Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), the nation's oldest and deadliest group, first appeared in the 1960's, and practices Lenin and Marxist ideology,” reports the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

“They believe that armed struggle and class war are the only effective ways for the working class to obtain power. Their strategy consists in rebuilding a revolutionary organization, recruiting new members, developing an armed propaganda campaign, forging a coalition with the left, and practicing armed resistance.”

Nine months after he was born in 1976, his family sought refuge at the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago and were then granted asylum to Denmark. They were ultimately allowed to relocate to the United States.

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.