Gladiator 2: Paul Mescal new Russell Crowe? Why Ridley Scott chose the Normal People actor for the sequel

Ridley Scott, fan of Paul Mescal? Absolutely and that’s why he chose him to become the future hero of “Gladiator 2”…

In an interview with Total Film, Gladiator director Ridley Scott explained why he cast Paul Mescal in the lead role in the long-awaited sequel to his legendary epic.

The filmmaker revealed that he had become a fan of Paul Mescal after seeing him in the BBC mini-series Normal People, which revealed the young Irish actor who later received an Oscar nomination for his role in the independent drama Aftersun.

I watched Normal People. It’s not my kind of show but I saw four episodes in a row – boom, boom, boom. I thought, ‘Who the hell is this Paul Mescal?’ And then I watched the whole series. And then, all of a sudden, Gladiator 2 came along, because the script worked pretty well. And I couldn’t stop thinking about Paul. And There you go.

Normal People is a limited series, based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Sally Rooney. The show follows the relationship between Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal), from high school to university, and highlights their transition to adulthood more realistic than ever. The series received critical acclaim for its well-depicted acting and maturity and received four Emmy nominations, including Best Director and Best Actor for Paul Mescal.


Gladiator 2 is directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay written by David Scarpa. Headlining this long-awaited sequel, we will find Paul Mescal in the role of Lucius, Lucilla’s son and nephew of Emperor Commodus from the first opus. He will be joined by former members of the cast such as Connie Nielsen who will therefore reprise her role as Lucilla, but also Djimon Hounsou (Juba) and Derek Jacobi (Gracchus). The feature film will also feature newcomers Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, Fred Hechinger, May Calamawy and Lior Raz.

Filming on the film, which is half-finished, is currently on hold due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

Gladiator 2 should debut on our big screens on November 20, 2024. In the meantime, the first part can be seen streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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