Aftersun's Paul Mescal to star in Ridley Scott's Gladiator sequel

Frankie Curio and Paul Mescal in Aftersun
(Image credit: Cinetic)

Paul Mescal is in talks to star in a sequel to Ridley Scott's blockbuster action movie Gladiator.

According to Deadline (opens in new tab), Mescal will star with Scott returning to direct. Costume Designer Janty Yanes and Production Designer Arthur Max are also returning for the sequel.

Gladiator hit theaters in 2000, and earned over $470 million at the global box office. The film stars Russell Crowe as a Roman general whose family is murdered by an emperor's corrupt son and sets out to exact his revenge. Gladiator was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture.

A sequel has reportedly been in pre-production since 2001, with the project being halted several times throughout the last two decades. The script was initially conceived as a prequel (opens in new tab) to the film's events, centering on the character of Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark), with another version of the script reportedly set to reveal Lucius as the son of Crowe's Maximus. In 2006, Nick Cave was hired to write a new script (opens in new tab)– which ultimately saw Maximus fighting in WWII and the Vietnam War, only to reveal that Maximus is actually a modern-day American citizen who works at the Pentagon (Don't worry, we're just as confused as you are). The plot of the new sequel has yet to be revealed. 

Irish actor Paul Mescal starred in the 2020 miniseries Normal People, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. He made his film debut in Maggie Gyllenhaal's The Lost Daughter, Saela Davis's God's Creatures, and the Charlotte Wells-directed drama Aftersun.

Gladiator 2 does not yet have a release date. For more, check out our list of all the exciting upcoming films in 2023 and beyond, or, look through our list of movie release dates.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.