Hell Yeah: ‘Gladiator II’ Casts Barry Keoghan As Its Main Villain
— Updated on 2 May 2023

Hell Yeah: ‘Gladiator II’ Casts Barry Keoghan As Its Main Villain

— Updated on 2 May 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin, Eternals, Dunkirk) is on track to take on yet another villainous in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2.

In addition to being the current iteration of The Joker in Matt Reeves’ The Batman franchise starring Robert Pattinson, multiple reports have indicated he’ll be portraying a fictitious version of Emperor Geta – otherwise known as Publius Septimius Geta – opposite fellow 2023 Academy Award nominee and compatriot Paul Mescal (Aftersun, Normal People).

Mescal, of course, won’t be replacing Russell Crowe’s General Maximus Decimus Meridius, whose character met his demise at the conclusion of the original 2000 film. Instead, he’ll be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and nephew of Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), who now is a grown man striking out on his own.

“Maximus saved the boy (Spencer Treat Clark) and his mother while avenging his own family, and left a strong impression on the young Lucius,” explained Deadline‘s Justin Kroll.

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Hell Yeah: Gladiator 2 Casts Paul Mescal & Barry Keoghan

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In addition to Ridley Scott himself, this long-awaited sequel to the revered historical epic hails the return of costume designer Janty Yates, production designer Arthur Max, as well as Djimon Hounsou, who originally portrayed the former slave and aging warrior Juba; seasoned Scott collaborator Dariusz Wolski will serve as director of photography. Scott will also produce with Michael Pruss via Scott Free alongside Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment.

David Scarpa (All The Money In The World, Napoleon) has penned the screenplay for this one.

According to World of Reel, principal photography on the forthcoming Paramount project kicks off in Morocco around May 2023, aligning with when Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Napoleon Bonaparte biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby is scheduled to premiere under the Apple TV+ banner. Gladiator 2 starring Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan currently has a November 22nd, 2024 release date.

Gladiator (2000) was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning five including Best Picture and Best Actor (Russell Crowe), in addition to earning over $460 million at the box office against a $103 million production budget.

RELATED: ‘Gladiator II’ Just Added Pedro Pascal To Its Star-Studded Cast

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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