Denzel Washington reunites with Ridley Scott for Gladiator 2

denzel washington attends the equalizer 3 photocall on october 19, 2022 in atrani, amalfi, italy
Denzel Washington set to join Gladiator 2Ivan Romano - Getty Images

Ridley Scott's Gladiator sequel has been lining up some big-name stars, and now it's added one more; someone who has worked with the veteran director before.

Deadline is reporting that Denzel Washington is in final negotiations to play a role in the sequel, which is set to start shooting in the summer.

The reunion between Washington and Scott comes 16 years after they teamed up for hit crime drama American Gangster.

Details are being kept under wraps, but Deadline states that it's a "bad-ass" role that Washington, who is very choosy about the roles he goes for, really vibed with. The part was actually written for the actor, even though they were unsure whether or not he would be willing to take it up.

Related: Paul Mescal offers exciting Gladiator 2 filming update

The run of big-name castings was kicked off by the announcement that Normal People and Aftersun actor Paul Mescal would be leading the film as Lucius. The character is the son of Connie Nielsen's Lucilla and the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus, who was saved by Russell Crowe's Maximus in the first film.

Meanwhile, The Banshees of Inisherin and The Batman actor Barry Keoghan has also been cast in the film, and will be playing Emperor Geta.

Speaking about the sequel, which she hasn't been officially confirmed for yet, Nielsen said: "I think that all of us are just gonna have to look at that as a separate, different film, you know?


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"But with some of the emotions and values that made Gladiator so powerful for so many people, which I really think were the underlying values that we were talking about.

"Tyranny versus freedom, and the willingness to do what needs to be done in order to free a people. And I don't think that it would have been the same if it had just been a spectacle. It had to exist within a sphere of values."

Gladiator 2 will be released on November 22, 2024.

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