Normal People star Paul Mescal 'lands lead role in Gladiator sequel'

It seems Paul Mescal’s career is continuing to skyrocket as he’s reportedly been cast in one of the most highly-anticipated sequels of recent memory.

The Normal People star shot to fame in 2020 alongside Daisy Edgar Jones as viewers fell in love with their portrayal of Irish author Sally Rooney’s characters as her novel was adapted for TV by the BBC.

Since then Paul has shared the screen with Oscar-winner Olivia Colman and played the leading man in award-winning film Aftersun, all while dating his former celebrity crush Phoebe Bridgers – though reports indicate the pair may now have called it quits.

There seems no end in sight to the stratospheric rise in Paul’s career, as he’s now believed to have landed the leading role in the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.

Gladiator starred Russell Crowe as a former Roman General who was sent into slavery before seeking revenge against the emperor who murdered his family.

Released in 2000, Sir Ridley’s acclaimed blockbuster won five Academy Awards, including best picture gong and best actor for leading man Crowe, while also scooping a string of other accolades including Baftas and Golden Globes.

It’s believed the sequel, announced by Sir Ridley in 2021, will tie in to the original via the son of Lucille and nephew of the now-deceased Roman leader Commodus – Lucius Verus, who was a child in the first movie.

According to Deadline, Paul is currently in negotiations to lead the blockbuster sequel after he became a favourite of Sir Ridley’s following a meeting in November.

A source told the outlet that the director continued to meet with other actors but it was apparently clear to everyone involved that the Irish actor was his top choice.

The film is set to feature old names, with Sir Ridley, of course, returning to direct and produce the film, and costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max also signed on.

As well as Sir Ridley, other producers include Michael Pruss, Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, while the script has been penned by David Scarpa.

Crowe has also spoken about the much-desired sequel – to be set 25 to 30 years after the first – saying he was ‘hopeful’ for the follow-up, despite his character Maximus popping his clogs at the end of the first one. has reached out to reps for Paul Mescal for comment

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