Gladiator 2 is delaying its production start to accommodate Paul Mescal's prior theater commitments. Gladiator 2 is the planned sequel to Ridley Scott's 2000 historical starring Russell Crowe, in which he played a Roman general betrayed and reduced to slavery, putting him on a path to get revenge for the deaths of his family and his wrongful imprisonment. The film earned five Oscar nominations, winning Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe. In addition, Gladiator made over $500 million worldwide, cementing itself as a critical and commercial hit. The sequel again sees Scott behind the camera, with Mescal recently announced as the film's lead, though it may not be getting off the ground as soon as expected.

According to Deadline, Gladiator 2's planned filming start is being slightly pushed back for Mescal's commitments to his play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Mescal plays Stanley Kowalski in the acclaimed run that is moving from a theater in north London to the West End, which conflicts with the planned start of Gladiator 2. Luckily, the production agreed to delay filming for just two weeks to accommodate the actor.

Everything We Know About Gladiator 2

Gladiator 2 is still keeping many of its secrets under wraps, however, with Scott at the helm, audiences can expect the sword and sandal action he delivered in the first film. It's also known that Mescal will be playing Lucius, the son of Lucilla, Connie Nielson's character, and the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus from Gladiator. Lucius was initially played by a young Spencer Treat Clark, also well-known for his roles in Unbreakable and its years-later sequel Glass, with Mescal taking over the role an unknown amount of years after the first film's events.

Scott has spent the better part of 20 years developing a potential Gladiator 2, with one version of the script even exploring Crowe's Maximus in the afterlife, while another found the story set 15 years after the original and following Lucius searching for the truth about his biological father. Though not a surprise for some considering his character's fate in the original, Crowe recently indicated that he would not be returning for Gladiator 2, saying the story would see Lucius now grown up as the Emperor 30 years later, though is in the dark as to what else the sequel may entail. However, with further details being kept under wraps and production not yet started, this could ultimately change.

Paul Mescal Has Become A Breakthrough Star

Mescal's career has been on a meteoric rise over the last few years. Beginning in 2020 with the romantic miniseries Normal People, in which landed a BAFTA win for Best Leading Actor and an Emmy nomination, Mescal would go on to find acclaim with his work starring alongside Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson in Maggie Gyllenhaal's The Lost Daughter, while more recently, Mescal's turn in the A24-produced drama Aftersun has landed him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. With his upcoming turns in Richard Linklater's Merrily We Roll Along and A Spy by Nature from The Last King of Scotland director Kevin Macdonald also in his future, Gladiator 2 looks to only be one of many steps forward in Mescal's recent breakthrough roles.