Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 has set a November 2024 release date, Deadline has reported. Fans have been waiting a long long time to head back into the arena in the acclaimed director’s vision. Actor Paul Mescal is set to lead the film after his break-out success in last year’s Aftersun.
Mescal won’t replace Russell Crowe’s Maximus but would be taking the story ahead as the new character in the same world. He’ll playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), and the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix’s character Commodus, the son of Roman leader Marcus Aurelius, who murdered his father and seized the throne. Lucius is now is a grown man as the story takes place years after the first film ended. In the original film, Maximus skewered the emperor before fading into the great beyond to reunite with his slain wife and son but saved the boy Lucius and his mother Lucilla while avenging his own family. Maximus’ sacrifice left a strong impression on the young Lucius and the story will continue from there in the sequel.
The first draft of the feature was delivered last November and Scott has been on a hunt for the lead actor since. Reportedly a lot of names were in consideration like Richard Madden, Timothée Chalamet, also last year’s break-out stars Top Gun: Maverick’s Miles Teller and Elvis’ Austin Butler, nonetheless, Mescal turned out to be the director’s top choice. Scott is returning once again to the director chair and will helm the feature from a script written by David Scarpa. Also returning are Costume Designer Janty Yates and Production Designer Arthur Max, both of whom worked on the original film. Scott also serves as the producer on the film alongside Michael Pruss, Scott Free President as well as Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon Entertainment.
Mescal is currently riding high on the critical acclaim of his latest release Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, wherein he plays a troubled 30-year-old father Calum of an adolescent girl. The role bagged him his maiden Academy Award nomination for his performance this year. He’s also well known for Hulu‘s limited series, Normal People, which bagged him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category in 2020. He was also featured in God’s Creatures which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, last year.
Gladiator 2 will begin filming in sometime in March this year and the movie will come out on November 22, 2024.