Thumbs Up: Barry Keoghan Is Joining Ridley Scott’s Gladiator Sequel

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Ridley Scott’s long-awaited “Gladiator” sequel is starting to feel, well, quite a bit Irish. The sequel to the Best Picture winner of 2000 is loading up on talent after news first broke of the Best Actor-nominated Paul Mescal being cast as the lead of the historical epic. Well, it turns out that that was only the beginning.

The Hollywood Reporter brings word that actor Barry Keoghan is currently in talks to join the upcoming sequel to “Gladiator,” which originally starred Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix in an epic melodrama set in and around the blood-soaked Coliseum in ancient Rome. Both actors went on to garner nominations for Best Actor (which Crowe handily won) and Best Supporting Actor, so there’s definitely a fun parallel between Mescal and Keoghan — both of whom were up for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, at this year’s Oscars — now getting set to join forces on the sequel over two decades later.

Excitingly, we now know a few details regarding who exactly the talented actor has been cast as. Keoghan, according to THR, will play a character by the name of Emperor Geta — an actual historical figure, intriguingly, although THR cautions that the script for “Gladiator 2” is not strictly following any real-world events. As was reported previously, Mescal is set to portray the nephew of Crowe’s Maximus and son of Maximus’ former flame Lucilla (played by Connie Nielsen), Lucius. He takes over the role originally played by Spencer Treat Clark.

Barry Keoghan Joins The Gladiator Sequel

Those looking forward to whatever Ridley Scott and writer David Scarpa (“All the Money in the World,” “The Man in the High Castle,” and Scott’s planned “Napoleon” film) have up their sleeves are sure to give a major thumbs up to the exciting casting of Barry Keoghan in the currently untitled “Gladiator” sequel.

Keoghan, of course, is riding high off his critically acclaimed turn in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a detour with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Eternals,” and an amusingly weird performance in the Dev Patel-starring “The Green Knight.” If Joaquin Phoenix’s off-the-wall mannerisms in the original “Gladiator” as the unhinged, usurping Emperor Commodus is anything to go by, we can likely expect another absolutely bizarre and compelling performance by Keoghan as another emperor in the sequel. He and Mescal, who burst onto the scene with the one-two punch of “The Lost Daughter” and “Aftersun,” are the only known cast members thus far, though surely Scott is drawing as many top-tier names as he can for this buzzy production.

No other details are yet known about the exact story for this next “Gladiator” film, but something tells us that Scott wouldn’t return to such a widely-celebrated picture decades later if he didn’t have a solid reason to do so. (And yes, before anyone is tempted to get snarky, most of us here at /Film are ready to defend his “Alien” prequels with our lives!) Stay tuned for more updates on the project as they come in.

Read this next: 12 Awesome Action Movies That Never Got Sequels

The post Thumbs Up: Barry Keoghan is Joining Ridley Scott’s Gladiator Sequel appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Thumbs Up: Barry Keoghan Is Joining Ridley Scott’s Gladiator Sequel
Author: Jeremy Mathai
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March 16, 2023

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