Will Paul Mescal be a new Gladiator?

If he gets this role, he will be playing a character we already saw in the first movie.

Jan 11, 2023 - 12:53
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Will Paul Mescal be a new Gladiator?

Ridley Scott always said that he would return to the Coliseum to continue the story of his blockbuster epic "Gladiator," and it looks like he's close to making that wish come true. Sources told that "Normal People" star Paul Mescal is in talks to star in the sequel to the Oscar-winning film, with Scott in the director's chair. Scott will also be one of the producers, while David Scarpa wrote the script.

Costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max also return from the original film. The first film was a co-production between Universal and DreamWorks, and while DreamWorks will not be involved in the sequel, Universal has the right to partner again once the project begins filming.

The new film follows 2000's Gladiator, which grossed over $460 million at the worldwide box office and it was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning five, including Best Picture.

Meetings with Scott began to heat up when the final draft was delivered in November, and Mescal was one of the first to sit down with the director. Although Scott continued to meet with other talents, insiders say it seemed clear to everyone involved that Mezcal was clearly Scott's choice after a fantastic meeting between the two.

With this role, Mezcal not only gets to show off the strong acting range that earned him an Emmy nomination for "Normal People," but also the physical strength required for this story. Crowe is known to have had to put on some serious muscle in preparation for Maximus, and Mescal will certainly be looking to do the same.

Mezcal will not replace Crowe's Maximus, whose character passed away in the original film, but he will play Lucille's (Connie Nielsen) son Lucius, who is now a grown man as the story takes place years later.

Lucius was also the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the son of the Roman leader Marcus Aurelius, who killed his father and took the throne. Commodus ended up in a gladiatorial ring with Maximus - who, though mortally wounded, killed the emperor before disappearing into the great beyond and being reunited with his slain wife and son. Maximus saved the boy and his mother and left a strong impression on young Lucius.