The last time Ridley Scott and Denzel Washington joined forces on a film was American Gangster. Now, according to Deadline, Denzel is in final negotiations to co-star in Scott’s sequel to Gladiator. Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan are on board to star opposite Washington with Ridley Scott directing.

Scott will also produce the film with Scott Free president Michael Pruss as well as Doug Wick & Lucy Fisher with Red Wagon Entertainment. David Scarpa wrote the script. Also returning from the first film are costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max.

Universal and DreamWorks co-produced the first film, and Universal has the right to partner with Paramount again when the project is finished.

It wasn’t immediately apparent that Denzel Washington would take the co-starring role alongside Paul Mescal. Their sources say that when the offer was presented to him, that it wasn’t clear that he would take it. Washington takes his time with scripts and doesn’t immediately sign onto anything. After reading the script, he was excited about the “bad-ass” role that Scott had written with him in mind,

Washington signed on following a pitch meeting with Scott.

Mescal won’t be playing the son of Maximus from the first film, but the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who also happens to be the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Washington’s role is being kept under wraps for now.

Washington has had a great working relationship with Ridley Scott and the late Tony Scott in films like Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, and American Gangster. He’s currently filming the third Equalizer film for Sony that comes out later this year.

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Source: Deadline

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