The main cast for the the highly anticipated sequel to Gladiator takes shape following the latest hires of acclaimed director Ridley Scott and his casting team.
Deadline reports that May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Derek Jacobi, Peter Mensah and Matt Lucas are among the actors recently hired to star in the as-yet-untitled film which is said to be set around 30 years after the original screenplay starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.
Additionally, Fred Hechinger may be joining us soon, as he and his team are currently in talks to play Emperor Geta, after Barry Keoghan had to pull out of the running for the unspecified role due to scheduling disputes. hourly.
The new cast members join an ensemble that previously included Irish actor Paul Mescal, 27, in the lead role of Lucius, who is the son of Lucilla, who was played by Connie Nielsen in the original 2000 film .
Like Jacobi, who is reprising his role as Gracchus, Nielson was selected to be one of the few legacy actors to return to the cast, alongside other previously announced actors such as Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal and Joseph Quinn.
Considered one of the best films of the 2000s, Gladiator was a huge hit with fans, earning over $503 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of $103 million.
Most critics praised the production, including Crowe and Phoenix’s acting, which led to 12 Oscar nominations, eventually winning five, including the coveted Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars for Crowe.
Following the success of Gladiator, Crowe would see his star rise to the top of almost everyone’s A-list in Hollywood and beyond.
Rumors of a sequel with Ridley Scott at the helm began to spread last year, which caught the eye of male actors around the world who fit the profile.
Both producer and director, Scott works from a screenplay by David Scarpa, who is best known for writing The Last Castle (2001), The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008), All The Money In The World ( 2017) and the upcoming historical drama Napoleon (2023) produced and directed by Scott, which is slated for release in November.
Wanting to thoroughly research the most important main characters, Calamawy finally landed her role after several auditions.
His breakout role came last year on Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight series, starring Oscar Isaac in the Disney+ series.
The Bahrain native, 36, is also known for her ongoing role in the Hulu comedy-drama series Ramy which also stars Ramy Youssef, Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, Dave Merheje and Mohammed Amer.
Back on Board: Ridley Scott, 85, returns as producer and director of the as yet untitled Gladiator sequel; he is pictured on the set of the original film in 1999
Main man: The new cast members join an ensemble that already included Irish actor Paul Mescal, 27, in the lead role of Lucius, who is the son of Lucilla, who was played by Connie Nielsen in the original film from 2000
As for the other new recruits: Raz, 51, is most recognizable to fans in his native Israel for his role in the political thriller series Fauda (2015-present) and Hit & Run (2021).
Jacobi, 84, is an English actor with a long and storied career in film, television and theater dating back to 1959. He has received numerous accolades over the decades, including a BAFTA, two Olivier Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, Two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Tony Award.
Mensah, 63, is a Ghanaian English actor with credits including Tears Of The Sun (2003), Hildago (2004), 300 (2006) and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
And Lucas, 49, rose to fame as an actor with his roles in the BBC comedy series Little Britain (2003-2006) and Come Fly With Me (2010-2011), as well as the films Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Bridesmaids (2011).
Best known for his breakout role on HBO’s first season The White Lotus, 24-year-old Hechinger made his film debut in the coming-of-age comedy-drama Eighth Grade (2018) and also starred in the drama film Human Capital (2019).
Epic Success: After revealing he wouldn’t appear in the sequel, Russell Crowe revealed during a podcast in January that the storyline was set some 30 years after the original film; Crowe and co-star Joaquin Phoenix were praised for their performances in the hit 2000 film, which included a Best Actor Oscar for Crowe
Earlier this year, Russell Crowe confirmed he won’t be appearing in the long-awaited Gladiator sequel, but he gave some plot hints after speaking with Scott over dinner.
Although he didn’t give much away, he did reveal that the story centered on Mescal’s character, Lucius, during an appearance on the Fitzy and Wippa Podcast.
“If you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the gladiator, which leads to the ‘My name is’ speech,” he said of the original film, adding, “So that young kid grew up, and he is now the emperor.’
He went on to sum things up by explaining: ‘So it’s not a remake. And it’s not a direct sequel. It’s not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something. And then the situation arises, you know.
So far, there’s no official word on when the Gladiator sequel will begin shooting principal photography.