Denzel Washington is in “final negotiations” to co-star in the Gladiator sequel, per a new news report at Deadline. Paul Mescal is already signed on to the film, and Ridley Scott is returning to direct. Additionally, two vets of the original film, costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max are also on board. Yates’ costume design for the original film garnered an Oscar, and Max’s work resulted in a nomination.
Currently, Washington’s role is being kept secret. He and Scott have worked together before, when Washington starred in American Gangster. Deadline states that “after reading the script, sources close to the project said he was excited about the bad-ass role Scott had written with him in mind.”
Russel Crowe’s Maximus will not be returning. He famously died at the end of the 2000 film, and while the film both won Crowe an Oscar and launched him into Hollywood leading man stardom, the sequel will not feature his return. Mescal similarly will not be taking on the role of Maximus and will instead be playing Lucius, the young boy that Maxiumus saved after killing Commodus in the gladiatorial ring at the end of the film.
Washington’s role is being kept under wraps.
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