A new report claims not only is a Gladiator sequel happening, legendary director Ridley Scott is returning to direct the sequel.
The report (via Deadline) claims that sources close to final negotiations on the film note Paul Mescal (Normal People) will star in the Gladiator sequel. Paramount Pictures is producing the film.
David Scarpa is also returning as screenwriter to collab with Scott after writing his 2017 film All the Money in the World, and Scott’s other upcoming historical drama film Napoleon.
While Scott is directing, he’ll also produce the sequel alongside Scott Free president Michael Pruss, as well as Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher from Red Wagon Entertainment. Also returning are costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max.
The original 2000 film was co-produced by DreamWorks and Universal Pictures – the former isn’t returning but the latter has the right to partner again once production firms up.
Details are scant, however, we know it will be a direct sequel with Mescal playing the role of Lucius, the son of Lucilla – Maximus’ original lover and both of whom he saved from the corrupt Emperor Commodus.
Coincidentally, talks that Scott wanted the Gladiator sequel to be his next film began after he wrapped up directing the aforementioned Napoleon biopic last year – which reunited him with Gladiator co-star Joaquin Phoenix.
The film is set years after the original, though it remains to be seen if other talent like Lucius’ mother (played by Connie Nielsen) will return. A final draft for the script was handed to Scott last November, after which meetings to cast the protagonist began.
Scott has wanted to make a direct sequel to Gladiator for over twenty years – way back when the original was still in theaters. The Gladiator sequel finally started getting more traction back in 2018 when Paramount signed on to produce the film.
Despite being in pre-production hell for over twenty years, Paramount leadership redoubled efforts to cement the film and its star, despite that fact that Mescal has yet to sign on. His role in Normal People got him an Emmy nomination, though he seems to not be rushing for a big studio job.
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