Why are fans reacting negatively to the trailer of Gladiator 2: Kanye West’s backtrack and more

The first trailer for the highly anticipated Gladiator 2 has recently been released by Paramount Pictures, offering us a glimpse into the Roman saga left unfinished by the first film.

Paul Mescal from the trailer of Gladiator 2
Paul Mescal from the trailer of Gladiator 2

The trailer was released on Paramount’s official YouTube channel and the film is scheduled to release on November 22. The action-packed period drama is directed by Ridley Scott and sports an A-list cast of Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and Denzel Washington.

When it comes to what the audience thinks, reviews are mixed. Some die-hard fans feel like the first movie was good enough to be a standalone. A user on Reddit poses a poignant question: “The story was over… WTF would the sequel even be?”

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

Another user states, “Unnecessary blatant cash grab. I’m sure somebody will pay to watch it, but not me. 

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

Alternatively, instead of a sequel fans say a prequel would have been better. “Seems like a blockbuster money grab more than anything. No doubt it will be entertaining but it will not have the same quality of emotion. Wish they could make better sequels and take their time to honor past works instead of pumping out slop,” said a miffed fan on the same thread.

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

Others supplemented these comments by criticising the unappealing music choice, since the trailer features a track by controversy surrounded Ye West. The song playing in the back is No Church in the Wild by Jay-Z, West, Frank Ocean, and The Dream. This collaborative track was originally featured in the 2011 album, Watch the Throne. The lyrics reportedly have relevance to the movie, but most fans have expressed their displeasure over the contrast between a modern hip-hop song over a historical drama.

Theo Priestley says on X, “Compare the new trailer to the original and so much of the impact is lost using generic trailer scores and modern music trying to make it sound cool. It’s about Rome not the Bronx. It’s also twice as long with half the story.”

Another user on X claimed, “So the trailer for #Gladiator2 is out. Remember just because the trailer has modern music doesn’t mean the film will. I suspect it won’t. But can we please talk about the rhino rider? It all looks like good fun but that might be a step too far into the ridiculous.” 

The film follows Lucius, son of Lucilla, who is played by Paul and will build on Maximus’ legacy in an attempt to move forward. Reports claim that Ridley has been working on the sequel for a very long time, so all hope is not lost until the movie is actually released.

 

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