Paramount‘s highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s box office phenomenon Gladiator has already assembled an impressive cast, and Deadline has reported that the project is rounding out its call sheet with Fred Hechinger, May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Derek Jacobi, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas.
While details remain slim for the majority of these players, Deadline reported that Hechinger is in talks to portray Emperor Geta. This was the role originally intended to be played by Barry Keoghan, but Deadline has now reported that Keoghan had to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. Geta was a real Roman emperor in the early 3rd century, though it is unclear how closely the upcoming film will actually follow historical accounts of his life. None of the other roles for the new cast have been fleshed out except for Jacobi, who will be returning to his legacy character as Senator Gracchus from the original film. The group will be joining an ensemble that already includes massive names, with Paul Mescal set to topline the film as Lucius, the nephew of the original film’s antagonist Commodus, alongside Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, Pedro Pascal, and Connie Nielsen, who is also reprising her role as Lucilla from the original film.
Much of the original creative group is also back for the sequel. Scott, who directed the original film, is directing the sequel from a script by David Scarpa, and is also producing via his Scott Free banner alongside Michael Pruss, in addition to Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher for Red Wagon Entertainment. Executive producers include Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.
The Well-Rounded Cast of ‘Gladiator 2’
Given the fact that the original film is widely regarded as one of the best action flicks ever, it would likely do extraordinarily well at the box office anyways. However, the ensemble cast is just adding more fuel to the fire, with anticipation for the film remaining sky-high. Hechinger is best known for his breakout role as Quinn Mossbacher on the first season of HBO‘s smash-hit series The White Lotus, for which he received critical acclaim. He will also portray the Chameleon in Sony‘s upcoming Kraven the Hunter film alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role.
Calamawy is known for her part in Hulu‘s Emmy-nominated comedy series Ramy, but it was her role of Layla in the Disney+ show Moon Knight that really put her on the map, thrusting her into a starring bid alongside Oscar Isaac. She will next be seen in the Duke Johnson-directed film The Actor. The most surprising, but welcomed addition to the cast may be Pascal. He has become a global superstar for his roles in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, as well as HBO‘s post-apocalyptic drama The Last of Us, which has already been picked up for a second season. It seems that Pascal is collecting blockbuster projects like Mandalorian armor these days.
While most plot details remain slim, more information about the film will likely come out ahead of the Gladiator sequel’s release on Nov. 22, 2024.