Denzel Washington is in final negotiations to join the cast of Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel at Paramount, according to an individual with knowledge of the project. Washington last worked with Scott 16 years ago on 2007’s “American Gangster.” Washington’s role is being kept under wraps.
Paul Mescal is attached to star. On Thursday, it was reported that Barry Keoghan is in negotiations to play Emperor Geta in the David Scarpa-scripted film; while there was a Roman emperor with the name it’s unclear how directly the movie will draw from actual events. Mescal will be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen, who is thought to be returning).
Also returning for the sequel is original director of photography John Mathieson, production designer Arthur Max and costumer designer Janty Yates. The original film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture.
Scott is also producing the “Gladiator” sequel with Michael Pruss via Scott Free with Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are executive producing.
Scott most recently directed Joaquin Phoenix in the Apple TV+ film “Napoleon,” also written by Scarpa. A release date for that feature has not yet been set, but production is complete.
Paramount has slated the untitled “Gladiator” sequel to be released on November 22, 2024.
Washington was most recently in Apple and A24’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Washington will next be seen in the third installment of “The Equalizer” for Sony later this year.
Washington is repped by WME.
Deadline first reported the news.