Gladiator Commodus scaled

Thumbs Up! Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan Join Paul Mescal in Gladiator Sequel

Are you ready to be entertained? It’s been twenty-three years since Ridley Scott’s Gladiator premiered and we saw Russell Crowe star as the titular gladiator who faces off against Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus (pictured above). After more than two decades, Scott is apparently ready to make a sequel focused on the son of Lucilla (nephew of Commodus), because he seems to think that’s the angle people really cared about from the first film.

The project is moving full steam ahead with some major names joining the cast. We’ve known for a couple of months that Paul Mescal, who recently received an Oscar nomination for his role in Aftersun, will play the aforementioned adult Lucius. In the last couple of days, however, we’ve found out that some additional Oscar-nominated actors are joining the cast as well.

Just yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Barry Keoghan, who you might recognize from Marvel’s Eternals or his turn as the local gom in The Banshees of Inisherin, has joined the film. Keoghan will be playing a character named Emperor Geta, the name of a real-life Roman emperor, though THR emphasized that the movie is not based on true events.

Keoghan’s casting news was soon overshadowed by Deadline breaking the story today that none other than Denzel Washington will also be in the film. We don’t have details exactly on who Washington will be paying, though Deadline framed it as a co-star position opposite Mescal’s Lucius.

With these three on board, there’s no doubt Scott’s sequel is attracting A-list talent. What the story actually ends up being, however, remains to be seen. We’ll all find out for ourselves when Gladiator 2 comes out on November 22, 2024.

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