Director Ridley Scott has found a possible leading actor for the planned sequel to his monumental film “Gladiator” (2000). Irish actor Paul Mescal (26, “Woman in the Dark”, “Aftersun”) is in role negotiations with the team, the US industry journals “Variety” and “Deadline.com” reported on Friday (local time). Mescal was nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in the relationship series “Normal People” (2020).
It had already become known in 2018 that the 85-year-old Brit Scott wanted to continue his award-winning historical epic. The screenplay is by David Scarpa, who previously wrote the scripts for Scott’s kidnapping thriller All the Money in the World and his ongoing project Napoleon.
In the original film, Russell Crowe played ex-general and celebrated gladiator Maximus, who kills his rival, the devious Emperor’s son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), in single combat and ends up dying himself. The blockbuster won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Crowe for Lead Actor.
The sequel is set to focus on Lucius, the now-adult son of Commodus’ sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen in the original film). Nothing was initially known about a possible start of filming.
Scott is currently in post-production on “Napoleon,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as the power-hungry French Emperor, produced by Apple TV+.