Paul Mescal is ready to take the field.
The “Aftersun” and “Normal People” star is in talks to star in Ridley Scott’s hotly-anticipated sequel to “Gladiator,” the 2000 epic that made Russell Crowe a superstar and won the Oscar for best picture. But the film is not a prequel and will not step into Mescal Crowe’s toga. After all, Maximus, Crowe’s character, died standing up for the Republic in the Colosseum — only if you miss the endless re-runs of “Gladiators” on cable TV and hate being entertained. Instead, Mescal will play Lucius, the son of Lucilla (played by Connie Nielsen in the original film).
Scott is returning to the world of swords and sandals and is expected to make that his next project. He will produce the film with Scott Free president Michael Pruss and Red Wagon Entertainment’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. Screenplay written by David Scarpa. The film will be produced by Paramount. Universal, which backed the first film with DreamWorks, has co-production rights to the movie once it’s set up.
Mescal won Oscars for his portrayal of a troubled father in “Aftersun” and thrilled audiences with his turn as an intelligent college student in “Normal People.” He earned an Emmy nomination for his work on that series. Mescal will appear in Andrew High’s “Stranger” opposite Andrew Scott and Claire Foy, as well as Garth Davis’ “Fo” with Saoirse Ronan.
Before he heads back to Rome, Scott is directing “Napoleon,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French dictator.
Mescal is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown. Deadline first reported that Mescal has been cast in the “Gladiator” sequel.