A ‘Gladiator’ Sequel Is Officially Underway

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Normal People’s Paul Mescal Cast As Lead

Veteran movie director, Ridley Scott will be looking to recreate his Gladiator magic 23 years later with Paul Mescal in the lead.

In 2000, Ridley Scott released arguably the best movie of the year, one which saw Russell Crowe play the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman general who after being forced into slavery, becomes a gladiator and rises through the ranks of the arena to avenge his murdered wife and son. Upon its release, it went on to become the highest-grossing movie that year and also snagged 5 academy awards from 12 nominations including one for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Actor’ for Crowe.

Russell Crowe as  Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator
Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator

A while ago, it came to light that the script for a possible sequel was completed and that the search for the film’s lead had already begun. Now, Deadline reports that Normal People star Paul Mescal is in talks to lead the sequel reportedly beating actors like Austin Butler (Elvis), Timothée Chalamet (Dune), Miles Teller (Top Gun), and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) to the role.

Mescal is best known for starring in Hulu’s Normal People as Connell Waldron, a role which earned him a Primetime Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie’ in 2020. He made his film debut in Maggie Gyllenhall’s The Lost Daughter and also starred in films like Aftersun and God’s Creatures.

Everything We Know About Gladiator 2

Paul Mescal in Normal People
Paul Mescal in Normal People

As of now, Mescal is the only actor attached to the project but with casting underway, more are expected to follow in the coming weeks. The sequel is expected to take place years after the original film with Mescal confirmed to play the grown-up version of Lucius, the son of Lucilla and nephew to the original antagonist Commodus. In Gladiator, Maximus saved both Lucius and Lucilla while avenging his family, leaving a strong impression on the young Lucius.

With Ridley Scott still involved with upcoming projects like historical biographic Napoleon, and the series Sinking Spring, production for the sequel would be expected to commence in the final months of 2023 at the earliest, putting its release in 2024 or early 2025.

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