Paul Mescal confirms Gladiator 2 start date

Fresh from an Oscar campaign, the Irishman is readying himself for the coliseum

Actor Paul Mescal attends the Nominees Luncheon for the 95th Oscars in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. February 13, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Paul Mescal attends the Nominees Luncheon for the 95th Oscars. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Paul Mescal will enter the coliseum for Ridley Scott's Gladiator 2 this summer.

23 years since the original Russell Crowe movie, Oscar-nominee Mescal is gearing up to shoot the sequel as adult Lucius Verus, the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Roman emperor Commodus, and now we know exactly when.

Speaking to W Magazine, the Irishman was asked what's in store for him for the rest of the year, replying: "Well I go back into rehearsals on Tuesday for [A Streetcar Named Desire] and then shoot Gladiator in the summer. And Strangers are coming out at the end of the year. So yeah, it's busy times."

Read more: Paul Mescal's mum was so stressed for his Oscar nomination she did laundry

Scott's latest Ancient Rome epic tells the story of Lucius, son of Lucilla (played by Connie Nielsen), who was the lover of Crowe's doomed warrior General Maximus Decimus Meridius.

Connie Nielsen and Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator'. (Credit: Universal)
Connie Nielsen and Russell Crowe in Gladiator. (Universal)

In a previous interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mescal, 27, addressed the physical preparations he’d need to put in place in order to portray the older Lucius.

"This guy’s got to fight and got to be a beast. And whatever that looks and feels like is right for me, is what it’s going to be," he began.

“Of course there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that, I’m not interested.

“With films like this and superhero films, there is sometimes a focus on that, which I don’t find that interesting,” Mescal pointed out. “Sometimes I see films and I’m like, ‘That person doesn’t look real.’”

Read more: Gladiator 2 producer wanted to show Maximus' resurrection

Having made waves with the lockdown TV series Normal People, the actor met with the iconic filmmaker and “discussed the parameters of the story".

"Then, after the fact, I was given a script," Mescal revealed.

“It’s an intimidating feat. It’s something I’m nervous about but something I feel like I can do. And I’m so proud I get to make it.”

Gladiator 2 will be released in cinemas on 22 November, 2024.

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