Paul Mescal will reportedly play a grown-up version of Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla in the long-awaited sequel to the Oscar-winning epic, Gladiator.
2023 will mark 23 years since Russell Crowe bellowed “Are you not entertained?!” on screen as Maximus; the fearless general turned slave and then gladiator, on a journey to avenge the death of his family. Ridley Scott’s epic earned itself all the awards that season, including the Oscar for Best Picture as well as Best Actor for Crowe, making him a household name.
Rather surprisingly, a sequel has been in the works. There were talks and rumours back in 2001, but nothing ever came of it, until a few years ago. Scott himself confirmed the project in 2021 and it seems that it’s really, definitely, most likely happening now.
Paul Mescal, acclaimed for his performances in last year’s superb Aftersun as well as BBC’s Sally Rooney adaptation, Normal People in 2020, has been tapped to play an older version of Lucius, the son of Lucilla.
Lucius memorably idolised Crowe’s Maximus, perhaps the film will see him in a gladiator arena? Maximus met his maker at the end of Gladiator so it’s safe to say he would only appear in flashbacks, if at all.
That being said, Crowe was reported to have wanted to return for a sequel, with his character Maximus somehow resurrected. An early plot for the sequel included Maximus fighting in World War II or the Vietnam War from a script by Nick Cave.
Lucius was originally played by Spencer Treat Clark in, who has gone on to have a moderately successful, if lowkey career in Hollywood. This could very well be Mescal’s break into blockbusters, but let’s hope the actor still finds time for films like Aftersun, which we named the best film of 2022.
Now, if only we could convince Scott to also materialise that long-awaited Alien/Prometheus sequel too.