Ridley Scott is directing “Gladiator 2” from a script draft by David Scarpa, who previously wrote Scott’s Getty family biopic “All the Money in the World” and his upcoming “Napoleon” film. Scott will also produce the sequel with Michael Pruss, Doug Wick, and Lucy Fisher. On the other side of the camera, Paul Mescal is lined up to portray the now-grown Lucius, which is exciting news coming on the heels of his acclaimed performance in the series “Normal People” and especially his heart-breaking turn in Charlotte Wells’s phenomenal feature directing debut “Aftersun.” He will assume the role from Spencer Treat Clark, who portrayed Lucius as a youngin’ in the original “Gladiator” and has remained active as an adult actor but didn’t get invited back for one reason or another.
While neither Russell Crowe nor Joaquin Phoenix are expected to return in any manner as, respectively, Maximus and Lucius’s uncle Commodus after their fight to the death at the end of the first “Gladiator” film, it’s plausible Connie Nielsen will reprise her role as Lucius’s mother Lucilla, with Djimon Hounsou also a real possibility to return as Maximus’s ally Juba. Expect more updates on that front in the foreseeable future as Scott gears up to start production on the as-yet-untitled sequel. (“Gladiator 224 AD?” So long as it’s not subtitled “A Gladiator Story,” we’re good, honestly.)