Paul Mescal To Play The Lead In Ridley Scott’s Gladiator Sequel

It’s been in the works for years, but it now looks like pre-production on Gladiator 2 is getting underway with director Ridley Scott finding his star.

Aftersun and Normal People actor Paul Mescal has beat out several A-list names to take on the role of Lucius, son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla (and nephew of Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodius) who will lead this second outing.

No co-stars have yet been announced for this sword-and-sandal sequel, which will take place decades after the Oscar-winning 2000 original.


Several reports have suggested that Mescal beat out actors including Miles Teller, Richard Madden, Austin Butler, and Timothée Chalamet to nab the role – although Chalamet’s agent has denied he ever auditioned for the part, with the actor being too busy filming Dune: Part Two.

A sequel to Gladiator has been talked up by Scott since the first film was released back in 2000, although the project has taken several different directions over the year.

Most famously, this included a bonkers screenplay penned by Nick Cave in which Russell Crowe’s Maximus was reincarnated as a soldier in various wars throughout history.

Universal Pictures

Steam started building with Gladiator 2 when Paramount Pictures signed on to produce, and with Scott’s star Mescal now in place, there’s hope filming can get underway this year.

Before then, Scott’s next film is another historical epic, reuniting him with Phoenix: Napoleon, which is due for release on AppleTV+ later this year.

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Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.