Denzel Washington is reportedly in final negotiations to join the cast of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, according to Deadline. Paul Mescal, the Irish actor who has had a meteoric rise to fame, is set to star in the sequel to the 2001 Best Picture winner. Mescal’s countryman and fellow Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan has also reportedly been cast.
Denzel Washington famously had a long working relationship with Ridley Scott’s brother Tony – as they made four movies together. Washington has worked with Ridley Scott once before – in 2007’s crime drama movie American Gangster, which also starred Gladiator’s Russell Crowe.
The Oscar-winning costume designer (Janty Yates) and production designer (Arthur Max) from the original historical epic are also returning for the sequel, which looks to be eying a 2024 release. In addition to winning for costumes and best picture, Gladiator also won Oscars for sound, visual effects, and of course Russell Crowe won for Lead Actor.
Denzel Washington is an acting legend whose career has spanned theatre, television and movies. His movie career began in the late 80s and by 1989, he already had his first Oscar nomination for the civil war movie Glory. Washington has worked with Spike Lee several times, most notably in Malcolm X. He was most recently Oscar-nominated for 2021’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Paul Mescal was Emmy-nominated for his first-ever TV mini-series (Normal People), and was Oscar-nominated for his first-ever leading role in a movie – Aftersun. He has appeared in just three movies, in total, so far (all of which were directed by women). He has roles lined up with directors including Andrew Haigh, Garth Davis, Richard Linklater, and Oliver Hermanus.
Barry Keoghan’s breakout role was in 2017’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer. He went onto star in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, American Animals, The Green Knight, Marvel’s Eternals, and is potentially playing the Joker in The Batman 2 (as he appeared in a post-credits tease). He also acted in the highly-acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl.
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