Gladiator 2 Finds it’s Lead in Paul Mescal
Gladiator 2 is officially in production, coming two decades after the original. Gladiator, which debuted to rave reviews in 2000, was a commercial and critical success, grossing $460 million worldwide and winning five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for star Russell Crowe.
Gladiator is a historical epic about vengeance, bravery, and political upheaval that follows Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) as he attempts to exact revenge on Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) after he murders his father and seizes the throne. Maximus, however, must first survive a series of gladiator matches after being enslaved as a gladiator.
Following Gladiator’s success, one would expect an immediate sequel; however, despite talks of a sequel in 2001, nothing concrete ever emerged. Ridley Scott even hoped to include a fantastical element in the potential sequel because Russell Crowe wanted to return despite the fact that his character was dead.Despite these factors, the hiring of Nick Cave to write a script featuring Crowe’s character fighting in WWII and Vietnam was the furthest a potential sequel went. Before it was eventually canceled.
However, according to a recent Deadline report, Ridley Scott is returning to the helm. A sequel film in which Paul Mescal, 26, will play Lucius, Lucilla’s son. What’s more, in late 2021, Scott confirmed that a script had been drafted, saying that it was “a good, logical place to go” and further said “there are enough components from the first one to pick up the ball and continue it”.
Mescal is still a relative newcomer, but he wowed audiences in Hulu’s limited series Normal People and also starred in 2022’s Aftersun, which received overwhelmingly positive reviews and is currently a contender for this award season. Gladiator 2 will, however, be his first leading role in a major studio production.