Paul Mescal hopes “Wicked” and “Gladiator II ”become Barbenheimer 2.0 with their same-day release: 'Glicked'

Paul Mescal hopes “Wicked” and “Gladiator II ”become Barbenheimer 2.0 with their same-day release: 'Glicked'

"'Wickdiator' doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it?"

Prepare your togas and broomsticks — Paul Mescal is manifesting Barbenheimer 2.0.

The Normal People actor, who is set to star in Ridley Scott’s historical epic, Gladiator II, has been made aware that the upcoming film shares a release date with its polar opposite, the candy-colored musical adaptation Wicked. Fans have been quick to point to compare the growing hype for their joint-release to that of Barbie and Oppenheimer in 2023 — and Mescal agrees.

"‘Wickdiator’ doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it?,” Mescal joked to Entertainment Tonight. “I think my preference would probably be ‘Glicked,’ if it has a similar effect to what it did for Barbie and Oppenheimer.”

<p>Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures</p> Paul Mescal in 'Gladiator II' and Cynthia Erivo in 'Wicked'

Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures

Paul Mescal in 'Gladiator II' and Cynthia Erivo in 'Wicked'

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

Besides being an excellent merch opportunity, the Barbenheimer effect led to an opening weekend that shattered box office expectations and helped movie theater chains like AMC Theatres earn their highest revenue ever. Moviegoers were so excited to partake in the trendy double feature that the films, which both premiered on July 21, 2023, reinvigorated the summer box office. The titles earned roughly $2.4 billion in combined worldwide ticket sales and later, twenty-one Oscar nominations between them.

While Gladiator II and Wicked are arriving in fall rather than summer, they do share a degree of star power with their 2023 counterparts. The Gladiator sequel, which picks up 20-plus years since the events of the Russell Crowe-led 2000 original, introduces Mescal as a grown-up Lucius facing off against Pedro Pascal as General Marcus Acacius. Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen, and Joseph Quinn also star in the film.

<p>Paramount Pictures</p> Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II'

Paramount Pictures

Paul Mescal plays Lucius in 'Gladiator II'

Meanwhile, Wicked stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande as two rival witches of Oz and also features Jonathan Bailey, Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, and Peter Dinklage.

Mescal isn’t the only voice championing Glicked. Wicked director Jon M. Chu has also embraced the phenomenon — just with a different moniker. “#Wickediator,” he wrote in a July 1 X post, resharing fanart of the two films with the Gladiator quote: “Are you not entertained?!!!

Gladiator II and Wicked both release in theaters on Friday, Nov. 22.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.