Denzel Washington, Paul Mescal & Barry Keoghan In Talks To Join Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’ Sequel

Ridley Scott‘s belated Gladiator sequel looks to have found an exciting trio. Legendary actor Denzel Washington and two newly minted Oscar nominees Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan are all in advanced talks to star in the film, which is in development at Paramount Pictures.

The film will be the follow-up to 2000’s smash hit, which earned $460 million at the box office and 12 Academy Award nominations. It starred Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman soldier forced into slavery who vows revenge against Commodus.

Maximus dies at the end of Gladiator, so Mescal will play Lucius, the son of Maximus’ lover Lucilla, in this sequel. Keoghan is in negotiations to play Emperor Geta, while Washington’s role is currently under wraps.

David Scarpa is penning the script, while Scott will also produce the film with Michael Pruss via Scott Free.

Washington’s involvement isn’t too surprising as he has plenty of great history with the Scott family. He previously worked with Ridley on 2007’s American Gangster, and was a frequent collaborator with his late brother Tony Scott, starring in films such as Man On Fire, Deja Vu, Crimson Tide, and Unstoppable.

Mescal and Keoghan are just coming off Oscar nominations for Aftersun and The Banshees of Inisherin, respectively.

Mescal also had roles in drama God’s Creatures and musical Carmen this year, while he has Garth Davis‘ sci-fi thriller Foe, Andrew Haigh‘s fantasy drama Strangers, and Richard Linklater coming-of-age comedy Merrily We Role Along all in various stages of production.

Keoghan’s career was already on a steep rise prior to his Oscar nom, having been introduced as the new Joker in The Batman, as well as joining the MCU in Eternals. His next film will be Emerald Fennell‘s Promising Young Woman follow-up Saltburn, while he’s currently filming drama Bring Them Down, where coincidentally he replaced Mescal, who had to drop out.

So the Gladiator sequel – which is currently untitled – is shaping up to be potentially something special. We’ll have to wait until November 22, 2024 to see whether it can match the original.


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