Wait is the most painful feeling you can ever have. Passing time anxiously for your loved one or the favourite thing with no end in sight is certainly not a good experience.
But the joy and excitement replace agony when something is really happening. Like the news about making of a blockbuster movie.
Yes! The long-rumored sequel to the epic Roman historical drama, Gladiator directed by Ridley Scott, is finally happening with reports about Paul Mescal is in talks to take the lead.
The 26-year-old actor would take on the role of Lucius, the son of Lucilla. Connie Nielsen played Lucilla in the original film, according to The Guardian and some other media outlets.
Mescal is said to have ‘always been’ Scott’s choice for the part. However, he will reportedly not be playing the role of Maximus, played by Russell Crowe in the original.
It is reported that the shooting of the much-awaited sequel will begin in May, with filming locations already confirmed for Ouarzazate, Morocco.
Scott confirmed in late 2021 that a script had already been written, calling it “a good, logical place to go” and adding that “there are enough components from the first one to pick up the ball and continue it”.
Reportedly, a final draft was delivered in November 2022 and after “a fantastic meeting” between Scott and Mescal, he’s the top choice for the role.
Gladiator was a major global hit in 2000 making $460 million worldwide and turning lead Russell Crowe into an international star. It won five Oscars, including best picture and best actor.
Talk of a sequel or prequel began in 2001 but stalled years later. Scott claimed that Crowe wanted to return, despite his character being dead, hoping to include a fantastical element in the follow-up. At one point, Nick Cave was hired to write the script which saw Crowe’s character fighting in the Second World War and Vietnam. It was later scrapped.
In 2021, Scott confirmed that a sequel would be going ahead based on the character of Lucius instead. The director’s next film Napoleon is set to be released later this year on Apple TV+ starring original Gladiator villain Joaquin Phoenix as the French leader.
After his role in the much-watched adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Mescal starred opposite Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter, Emily Watson in God’s Creatures and picked up acclaim and awards buzz for father-daughter drama Aftersun.
He is currently starring as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida theatre in London and will next be seen on-screen in sci-fi thriller Foe alongside Saoirse Ronan, musical Carmen and Andrew Haigh’s high-concept fantasy drama Strangers with Claire Foy.