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Paul Mescal cast in lead role in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel claims report


Irish actor Paul Mescal has reportedly been cast in the lead role for the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.

Deadline are reporting that Mescal (26) is in negotiations to play the lead role in the second instalment of the Oscar-winning flick, and Ridley Scott will also return to direct and produce.

Gladiator won five Academy Awards and was nominated for 12 in 2000, and landing the starring role would be undoubtedly the biggest role in Mescal’s meteoric rise since starring in Normal People in 2020.

Scott began meeting with prospective actors to fill the lead role in recent months and Deadline reports that while the famed director met with other talent after Mescal, it was clear that the Kildare native was his leading pick after a meeting between the two was described as “fantastic”.

Paul will reportedly play Lucius, the son of Russell Crowe’s love interest Lucilla in the original, as the sequel will be set years after Maximus Decimus Meridius met his end following a battle in the Colosseum.

While Mescal’s deal is not 100pc secured as of yet, sources told Deadline that developers Paramount have got their man.

It is understood that other actors pursuing the part included Miles Teller, Austin Butler, Richard Madden and Timothée Chalamet.

Scott confirmed last year that a script had already been written, saying it was “a good, logical place to go,” and adding: “there are enough components from the first one to pick up the ball and continue it”.

The sequel will come close to a quarter century after the original grossed $460m in box office sales.

Mescal was spotted enjoying a cup of coffee with Angelina Jolie in London last week.

The pair met up after Jolie watched Mescal perform at the Almeida Theatre in A Streetcar Named Desire.

They were photographed at the theatre’s coffee shop after the show and were joined by Jolie’s daughter Shiloh (16), whom she shares with Brad Pitt.

Mescal stars as Stanley Kowalski in the Tennessee Williams play until February 4.

It comes after rumours that Mescal and American singer Phoebe Bridgers had called time on their relationship.

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