Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked and Paul Mescal in Gladiator II
(Universal Pictures / Paramount Pictures)

‘Wicked’ x ‘Gladiator 2′ Memes Are the Best ‘Barbenheimer’ Knockoff Yet

Can this Barbenheimer 2.0 idea defy gravity?

For the most part, Barbenhenmeir was a one-time-only, sacred phenomenon. Every time someone has tried to recreate it with two new movies, we’ve just told them to stop trying to make it happen, but with Wicked: Part One and Gladiator II on the horizon, this fangirl senses possibility.

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Wicked: Part One, John M. Chu’s fantasy musical adaptation of the Broadway show with the same name, stars Cynthia Ervio, Ariana Grande, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Bailey, Jeff Goldblum, Ethan Slater, Peter Dinklage, and more. Meanwhile, Gladiator II, Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated sequel to his Gladiator, stars Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, Fred Hechinger, Connie Nelson, and Derek Jacobi. 

After the first look made waves, the trailer for Gladiator II is all set to drop on July 9, 2024, and fans cannot stop drooling over Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal. The hype for the trailer is real, but before we can even see it, there’s a new hype that’s slowly gaining traction.

Both Wicked and Gladiator II are now releasing on November 22, 2024, and from the memes, it sure looks like fans are trying to make this into Barbenheimer 2.0. And you know the power of internet fans; we could if we just will it strongly, once more with feeling. 

Of course, there are naysayers, who either don’t believe we can recreate the Barbenheimer frenzy or think it’s normal for two major movies to release on the same day and we don’t need to make a big deal about it every time.

Look here, in the end, girls just want to have fun. We want to dress up in Barbie-pink ruffles as Galinda for Wicked, and then tap our shoes three times to change into a leather miniskirt and twin with our internet boyfriend Paul Mescal and daddy Pedro Pascal for Gladiator II. Is it too much to ask? Are we reaching for the stars here? Definitely not.

It’s time to try defying gravity and make this idea fly!

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.