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Barry Keoghan cast as villain in Gladiator 2 alongside Paul Mescal

Barry is set to play a fictional version of the real-life Roman Emperor Geta on the big screen.

Barry Keoghan in October 2021. Photo: PA© Yui Mok

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Barry Keoghan has reportedly been cast alongside Paul Mescal in the upcoming Gladiator sequel.

Rumours are rife that the Banshees of Inisherin actor will be playing the film’s main villain after Kildare native Paul confirmed that he would be starring in the Ridley Scott epic earlier this year.

Barry is set to play a fictional version of the real-life Roman Emperor Geta on the big screen, according to entertainment website Giant Freakin Robot.

Also known as Publius Septimius Geta, the emperor ruled Rome between 209AD to 211AD and was notorious for his raging temper.

Barry has yet to confirm his role in the Gladiator sequel and while there are few known details about the blockbuster, filming is expected to begin at the start of June.

The original Gladiator movie won five Academy Awards and was nominated for 12 in 2000.

The sequel will be set years after Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius met his end following a battle in the Colosseum.

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”.

Paul Mescal, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in indie flick Aftersun, will reportedly play Lucius, the son of Maximus’ love interest Lucilla in the original.

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

The 27-year-old spoke to Variety recently about his intense training regime as he prepares to get in shape for the role.

“Every time someone asks me if I’ve started working out, I’m like, ‘What do you mean? You can’t tell?’” he joked.

“I’m working hard. I like exercise. It’s not something I dread, thank God, he explained before adding: “I don’t like doing shoulders so much.”

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