‘Gladiator 2’: Denzel Washington In Final Talks To Reunite With Ridley Scott For Upcoming Sequel

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What casting news could top Barry Keoghan joining fellow Irish actor Paul Mescal in Ridley Scott‘s upcoming “Gladiator 2“? Deadline has the answer.  Denzel Washington is in final talks to co-star in the sequel. If Washington indeed joins Scott’s next film, it’s the first time the pair work together since 2007’s “American Gangster.” That film remains one of Washington’s most regarded performances over fifteen years after release, so that’s big, big news, right?

Sources tell Deadline that Washington was unsure about joining “Gladiator 2” during initial talks but changed his mind after reading the script. That’s a telling anecdote since Washington is highly selective about the projects he works on.  David Scarpa pens the script for Scott this time around, so suffice it to say if it got Washington excited, it’s a great follow-up to the original “Gladiator” from 2000.

Washington has a history with the Scotts beyond “American Gangster,” though. He starred in several films for Ridley’s brother, the late director Tony Scott, before he teamed up with him for their 2007 hit. The actor and Tony did five films in all together, three before “American Gangster” and two after, including “Crimson Tide,” “Man On Fire,” and 2010’s “Unstoppable.”

But “Gladiator 2” is a much different beast than a Tony Scott thriller. Plot details for the gladiatorial epic remain scarce, but Mescal plays an adult Lucius, son of Connie Nielsen‘s Lucilla and nephew to Joaquin Phoenix‘s Commodus from the 2000 film. Meanwhile, rumors abound that Keoghan plays Emperor Geta in the sequel, but that’s yet to be confirmed. As for Washington’s role, it’s under wraps.

Washington’s last role came in Joel Coen‘s take on Shakespeare‘s “Macbeth” for Apple, but he has a third “Equalizer” film on the way soon. As for Scott, the workhorse director needs to finish “Napoleon” for Apple before he starts on “Gladiator 2.” But Scott and Paramount eye a November 22, 2024 theatrical release for the film, so expect production to begin this summer.

So who joins Mescal, Keoghan, and Washington on the “Gladiator 2” cast list next? Stay tuned on that.

‘Gladiator 2’: Denzel Washington In Final Talks To Reunite With Ridley Scott For Upcoming Sequel

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