Gladiator 2: Paul Mescal to star in the Ridley Scott-directed sequel

Gladiator 2, Paul Mescal, Ridley Scott

Are you not entertained? You will be, now that Ridley Scott is getting back into the Colosseum for Gladiator 2. According to Deadline, Scott is returning to the director’s chair for a long-gestating Gladiator sequel starring Normal People actor Paul Mescal in the lead role. Mescal is negotiating to star, 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.

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 close to 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.

The original Gladiator earned $460M worldwide and helped make Russell Crowe a leading man on the silver screen. Crowe played Maximus in the original film, the Roman general-turned-gladiator fighting to survive and defy an empire. Mescal will not replace Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator 2. Instead, he’ll play Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who is a grown man in the new story, which takes place years after the first film’s conclusion. Lucius is also the nephew of Phoenix’s Commodus, the son of Roman leader Marcus Aurelius who murdered his father for the throne and tortured Maximus throughout the original film.

Scott has wanted to make Gladiator 2 since the original was in theaters. Paramount swooped in to develop the film, but as things sometimes go in the movie industry, Gladiator 2 entered development hell. The details of Scott’s Gladiator sequel are so intricate we made a video about all the gory dealings for the JoBlo Network. A deal for Mescal to star in the film is ongoing, but sources close to the project expect it to go through.

Do you think Mescal is a good fit for Scott’s Gladiator sequel? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Source: Deadline

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.