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Ridley Scott is preparing his long-gestating Gladiator sequel, with Normal People star Paul Mescal in negotiations for the film’s lead role.
The Paramount project is set to be a follow-up to Scott’s best picture-winning 2000 feature, which followed Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), a former general who is forced into being a common gladiator under the rule of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). , a patricidal self-appointed Emporer of Rome.
According to previous reports, the sequel’s story will center on Lucius, the son of Lucilla, played by Connie Nielsen, and the nephew of Phoenix’s Commodus.
David Scarpa, who worked with Scott on All The Money In The World and the upcoming Napoleon Bonaparte movie, is penning the script. Scott will also produce with Michael Pruss via Scott Free, and Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment.
Gladiator was a co-production with Universal, with that studio now having the option to co-produce the sequel once the project is pakcaged. At the time of the release, Gladiator grossed $460 million at the box office and earned eleven Oscar nominations, winning five statutes, including best picture and best actor for Crowe.
Heading into the sequel, Scott is coming off of directing Napoleonreuniting with Phoenix playing the famed French Emperor with Vanessa Kirby playing empress Josephine.
Gladiator marks a significant milestone for Mescal, who first broke out in the Hulu series Normal Peopleearning a BAFTA award and an Emmy nomination for his role. Gladiator 2 would be Mescal’s first time leading a major studio production. After Normal Peoplethe actor landed roles in a string of festival stand-outs, including Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter and Charlotte Wells’ Cannes entry Aftersun.
Mescal is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown.
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