Following the news yesterday that Barry Keoghan is in final talks to join the cast of Gladiator 2, Deadline has reported that Denzel Washington is in the same boat. If the deal goes through, it would be the first film in 16 years that the actor and Ridley Scott have worked together. They previously had been together for American Gangster.
No details are known about the role that Denzel Washington will have in Gladiator 2. According to the report, studio executives wanted another A-lister for this significant role. The Equalizer actor was getting sold between Scott returning to the director’s chair, the strong script written by David Scarpa (The Man in High Castle), and the pitch of the character from the director.
Keoghan will play the villainous Emperor Geta. Paul Mescal will play the lead as Lucius, the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielson) from the first film. It will take years after the events of the original 2000 film.
Denzel Washington is likely to join the cast of Gladiator 2
The cast will be new for the highly anticipated sequel, but Scott is bringing in some veterans from the original film to help make it. Costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max will return.
The first film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won five, including Best Picture and the Best Actor prize for Russell Crowe. The film was a launch pad for the actor, who went on to other major career-defining roles afterward.
Denzel Washington joining Gladiator 2 adds to his extensive, two-time Oscar-winning career. He had won Oscars for Glory and Training Day. He has also been nominated for his work in Cry Freedom, Malcolm X, The Hurricane, Flight, Fences, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and The Tragedy of Macbeth. He is currently lined up to reprise his role as Robert McCall for The Equalizer 3.