Ridley Scott’s Gladiator was a blockbuster hit upon its release in 2000, winning five Academy Awards and becoming one of the year’s highest-grossing films. Now, over 20 years later, it has been announced that Scott is set to direct a sequel to the film, with Irish actor Paul Mescal set to star as the lead. However, those looking for Maximus Decimus Meridius 2.0 may find themselves a little disappointed.
While the Irish Emmy-nominated actor is set to rock the toga and sandals, insiders at Deadline have suggested he won’t be fighting inside the Colosseum.
“Paul Mescal won’t be replacing Russell Crowe’s Maximus, whose character met his end in the original film, but instead he will be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who now is a grown man as the story takes place years after the first film ended.”
“Lucius also was the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the son of Roman leader Marcus Aurelius, who murdered his father and seized the throne. Commodus wound up in the gladiator ring with Maximus — who, though mortally wounded, skewered the emperor before fading into the great beyond to reunite with his slain wife and son. Maximus saved the boy and his mother while avenging his own family, and left a strong impression on the young Lucius.”
Garbage… just leave this movie alone. pic.twitter.com/GpmQ3KUfpV
— FurGod (@furgods) January 6, 2023
The news of a Gladiator sequel has been met with both excitement and scepticism from fans of the original film. Many have praised the casting of Mescal, 26, who rose to fame for his breakout role in the critically acclaimed TV series Normal People, as a fresh and exciting choice for the lead role. However, others have expressed doubt that a sequel could live up to the high standard set by the original film.
Despite the mixed reactions, Scott is no stranger to tackling ambitious projects. His extensive filmography includes several iconic and influential movies, such as Alien, Blade Runner, and The Martian. As for Mescal, he has already proven himself as a talented and versatile actor, and it will be interesting to see what he brings to the role. It’s unclear at this time what the sequel’s plot will be, but with Scott and Mescal at the helm, it’s sure to be a film worth checking out.
Fans of the original Gladiator will have to wait a while longer to see what the pair have in store, as no official release date has been announced for the sequel. It has been reported that filming for the new Paramount project will begin in May 2023, around the same time as the release of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Bonaparte biopic, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby, on Apple TV+.