Paul Mescal, known for his role in Normal People, is in negotiations to play the lead in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated sequel to the 2000 film Gladiator. Paul Mescal, aged 26, is in talks to play Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen’s character in the original film) in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel. Scott announced in late 2021 that a script for the sequel had already been written and that it picks up where the first film left off.
According to reports, a final draft for the Gladiator sequel was completed in November 2022. After a successful meeting between Scott and Mescal, the 26-year-old actor has become the top choice for the lead role. The original Gladiator film was a major success in 2000, earning $460 million worldwide and winning five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe.
Speculation about a Gladiator sequel or prequel began in 2001 but stalled for years. Scott had previously mentioned that Crowe wanted to reprise his role, even though his character had died in the first film, and that the sequel would include a fantastical element. At one point, Nick Cave was hired to write a script that featured Crowe’s character fighting in World War II and Vietnam, but the project was eventually scrapped. In 2021, Scott announced that a sequel to Gladiator would be produced, focusing on the character of Lucius. His upcoming film Napoleon, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as the French leader, is set to be released on Apple TV+ later this year.
Paul Mescal gained recognition for his role in the popular adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People. He has since appeared in The Lost Daughter with Olivia Colman, and God’s Creatures with Emily Watson, and received critical acclaim for his role in the father-daughter drama Aftersun. Mescal is currently performing as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre in London, and will soon be seen in the sci-fi thriller Foe with Saoirse Ronan, the musical Carmen, and Andrew Haigh’s fantasy drama Strangers with Claire Foy.