Denzel Washington is one of the most beloved actors in the world, and he is often cast in high-level pictures that generally garner plenty of Academy Award buzz. Back in 2007, Washington worked with director Ridley Scott to portray the life of Frank Lucas in the crime drama American Gangster.
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The film would go on to be nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Art Direction. Ridley Scott also brought in Russell Crowe, who portrayed Richie Roberts. Roberts was the cop responsible for taking down Lucas’s criminal organization. Scott and Crowe worked together on the massively successful Gladiator film from 2000.
Ridley Scott is now reuniting with Denzel Washington, as he has been cast to co-star in Gladiator 2. Washington will not be replacing Russell Crow as the lead, but he will likely be a friend or ally of Paul Mescal.
Mescal is set to lead Gladiator 2 as Lucius. Lucius is the son of Lucilla and the nephew of Commodus, the man who murdered his father to assume the role of rule over Rome.
Commodus began to believe that Lucilla was conspiring against him and using Maximus to kill him. Commodus eventually threatened the life of Lucius and told Lucilla he would kill him if she did not divulge her secret plans.
Gladiator 2 will takes place years after the first movie ended, with Lucius now being a grown man. The aftermath of the first film is likely to include Lucius being in some political role in Rome. Before Maximus died, he asked that Senator Gracchus be reinstated, so it could be that Gracchus might be ruling Rome again.
Interestingly, Djimon Honsou has not yet been cast in Gladiator 2, so it would be interesting if Denzel Washington was set to replace him. That might not be the case, but it Washington would be a welcomed addition to replace Honsou as Juba.
Juba was the closest friend to Maximus as he was imprisoned and fought his way through the gladiator pits. We would imagine that Juba might be involved in the sequel, especially if Lucius knew how he helped Maximus.
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Denzel Washington now joins the already mentioned Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan. Keoghan most recently received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in The Banshees Of Inisherin (2022).
Gladiator 2 is set to be released on November 22, 2024, and will serve as the direct sequel to the original film.
Are you excited to see Denzel Washington in Gladiator 2? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!