Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington is in talks to co-star alongside Paul Mescal in Gladiator 2, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s award-winning film.
According to a report from Deadline, Scott and Paramount Pictures CEO and President Brian Robbins approached Washington with an offer for a major role that has yet to be disclosed, and they weren’t sure if he would take it. However, sources close to the development of the sequel said Washington was excited about the role Scott suited him upon reading the script, which led to a meeting between the two. This would mark Washington and Scott’s first collaboration since American Gangster in 2007.
Mescal was cast as Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nelson), nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and grandson of Marcus Aurelis, who in the first film was the Emperor of Rome until Maximus ( Russell Crowe) ascends the throne following his murder. The sequel revolves around an adult Lucius as he becomes Emperor.
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Washington’s negotiations to co-star Gladiator 2 come on the heels of Barry Keoghan being in talks to play the role of Emperor Geta. Although the sequel has no basis in actual events, Geta ruled the Roman Empire from 209 to 211 AD.
Meanwhile, Washington is preparing The Equalizer 3, where he plays vigilante Robert McCall alongside Dakota Fanning. This film is set to be released on September 1.
When it was released in 2000, Gladiator grossed over $460 million worldwide and won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe. Gladiator 2 will hit theaters on November 22, 2024.
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Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.