Gladiator 2: Denzel Washington is in talks to join Paul Mescal for Ridley Scott’s colossal sequel

Denzel Washington is in talks to join the cast of Ridley Scott’s long-gestating Gladiator 2, starring Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan.

Last Updated on March 31, 2023

Gladiator 2, Denzel Washington, Ridley Scott, Paul Mescal

Denzel Washington and Ridley Scott are getting the band back together! The word around the coliseum is that Denzel Washington is in talks to join Paul Mescal for Gladiator 2. The swords and shouting sequel is Washington’s first movie with Scott since 2007’s American Gangster.

Mescal stars, with Scott directing and producing through Scott Free with Michael Pruss, alongside Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon Entertainment. David Scarpa (The Man in High CastleAll the Money in the WorldThe Day the Earth Stood Still) is writing the script. Oscar-nominated actor Barry Keoghan (The BatmanEternalsThe Banshees of Inisherin) also stars.

Mescal leads the sequel to Ridley Scott’s action-drama, taking over the lead from Russell Crowe’s Maximus from the first film. Mescal plays Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who is fully grown in the sequel. The story takes place several years after Maximus’ death in the original. Before he died, Maximus rescued Lucius and his mother from the clutches of the young man’s uncle, Commodus (Phoenix). The event left an impression on Lucius, who aspires to be as formidable as Maximus as he braves a harsh world.

If you loved the elaborate costumes in Gladiator, you should know that Janty Yates is returning for the sequel alongside Production Designer Arthur Max. According to Deadline, Scott began meeting with actors in November after Scarpa completed the script’s final draft. Mescal was one of the first actors to sit down with Scott; word has it, he made quite the impression. Scott continued meeting with actors for the coveted part. However, sources near the project say Mescal was all but a lock from the jump. Mescal has the acting chops Scott is looking for and a physique that would have Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus giving a thumbs up.

Washington’s role remains a mystery, though he’s an outstanding addition to the cast regardless of who he plays. With decades of experience and gravitas to match, Washington is bound to be a commanding presence in Gladiator 2, scheduled to entertain the masses in theaters on November 22, 2024, just in time for Thanksgiving in the United States.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.