Paul Mescal set to lead Gladiator 2, Ridley Scott to direct

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The long mooted follow up to Gladiator is finally coming together, as the creative team and the first character details have been revealed.

Gladiator is one of Sir Ridley Scott’s most beloved films, and a follow up has been discussed ever since the gargantuan success of the original. Perhaps the most intriguing proposition was Nick Cave’s script, would have followed Russell Crowe’s Maximus into the afterlife. We delved into the story behind that one in this article last year.

Now, we finally have some concrete details about the sequel. Firstly, Scott, now 85, will be back behind the camera, working from a script by David Scarpa, who recently penned Scott’s upcoming Napoleon, which reunites Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Scott will also co-produce through his production company Scott Free, alongside Michael Pruss. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce for Red Wagon Entertainment.

The first draft of the script was delivered in November last year, and it apparently caused quite a stir in the Hollywood community, with agents and actors chomping at the bit to get round the table with Scott. While it is unknown if Crowe will be back in any capacity, Normal People star Paul Mescal was reportedly the one who impressed Scott upon their first meeting, and is now in negotiations to star.

Mescal will not be taking over the role of Maximus, we know that much for certain. Set years after the original, he will play Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla. Lucius was also the nephew of Phoenix’s character Commodus, whose betrayal of his father ended with the epic face off against Maximus in the Colosseum, and it seems Maximus made quite an impression on the young Lucius.

Other key creatives from the original film are also returning, including costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max.

There are no dates set in stone as of yet, but with momentum picking up, there shouldn’t be too long to wait before Gladiator 2 finally goes before the cameras.


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