Bridgers and Mescal Met Gala
Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal at the 2022 Met Gala Awards. Taylor Hill/Getty Images


  • Paul Mescal has been tapped to play the lead in the "Gladiator" sequel
  • The Irish actor will be playing the character of Lucius in the movie
  • Ridley Scott will return to the directing chair for the anticipated sequel

Paul Mescal will travel back in time to the Roman Empire for his next big-screen outing.

The 26-year-old Irish actor has reportedly been chosen to star in the unexpected sequel to the 2000 hit "Gladiator."

Deadline exclusively announced Friday that Ridley Scott is finally making the follow-up to the blockbuster epic, and the "Normal People" star is in negotiations to play the lead role.

The esteemed English filmmaker will return to the directing chair and the Colosseum for the sequel more than two decades after the first film was made.

The second "Gladiator" film will be produced under Paramount. The first movie was a co-production between Universal and DreamWorks. The latter will not be involved in the sequel, but the former could partner again when the project is packaged, according to the news outlet.

David Scarpa already penned the script. Aside from directing, Scott will also be producing the project, alongside Scott Free president Michael Pruss and Red Wagon Entertainment's Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher.

Aside from Scott, costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max are also coming back for the second movie.

The original movie, which earned more than $460 million worldwide, starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, who died at the end of the film.

The sequel will be a direct follow-up to the first movie, with Mescal playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). He was the boy Maximus saved in the first film.

Mescal was said to be Scott's top pick for the role after a "fantastic meeting between the two." Other actors who vied for the role were Richard Madden, Timothée Chalamet, Austin Butler and Miles Teller, according to Collider.

Aside from "Normal People" which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding lead actor in 2020, Mescal also appeared in the acclaimed "Aftersun" and "God's Creatures."

Earlier this month, he made headlines when he was photographed having coffee with Angelina Jolie, 47, at the Almeida Cafe & Bar in London. Leaked photos showed them engrossed in conversation while surrounded by empty tables.

Reports said it was just a friendly hangout since they were joined by Shiloh, the "Maleficent" star's 16-year-old daughter with her ex-husband Brad Pitt. The mother and daughter reportedly met with Mescal after watching him perform in the play "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Normal People
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: (L-R) Lenny Abrahamson, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Sally Rooney, and Ed Guiney of "Normal People" speak during the Hulu segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 17, 2020 in Pasadena, California. Amy Sussman/Getty Images