Normal People’s Paul Mescal ‘in talks’ to star in Gladiator movie sequel

26-year-old Irish actor Paul Mescal who shot to TV fame in 2020’s huge Sally Rooney hit Normal People opposite Daisy Edgar-Jones is reportedly in talks to play the lead role in a sequel to Ridley Scott’s blockbuster movie Gladiator.

It is understood Mescal is being lined up to play the character of Lucius the young ruler Maximus saved by killing his uncle Commodus, the son of Lucilla, the character played by Connie Nielsen in the original film.

Ridley Scott is set to return to the directing chair for the sequel to the Oscar-winning classic that was released in 2000, according to Deadline.

There have been rumours of a sequel to Gladiator for many years now and in 2021 Ridley Scott said that the script for the new movie had already been written.

“Oh, it’s been written. It’s already been written. We have a good footprint, a good, logical place to go. You can’t just do another Gladiator type movie. You’ve got to follow…there’s enough components from the first one to pick up the ball and continue it,” he told Deadline.

The original Gladiator movie was released in the year 2000 and earned over $460m worldwide in box office receipts, making it one of the biggest movies of its time. It was nominated for 12 Oscars and eventually won 5 Academy Awards including that of Best Picture.

Russell Crowe played the lead role of Maximus in the original movie in which would win him an Oscar for Best Actor and be a game-changing role in his career in Hollywood.

Paul Mescal, who is understood to have been one of the first people to be seen by Scott for this incredibly sought-after role in such a high-profile project has recently been starring as Stanley on the West End stage in London in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. After winning a BAFTA for Best Actor for his performance in Normal People, Mescal has continued his work in television as well as branching out into films.

In 2021, Mescal starred opposite Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter, as well as featuring in other movies that year including Aftersun and God’s Creatures.

Mescal’s next movie project is the Garth Davis film Foe in which he will play opposite Saorise Ronan.