AceShowbiz - Barry Keoghan is close to nabbing a role in a high-profile project following his critically-acclaimed appearance in "The Banshees of Inisherin". The Irish actor is reportedly circling a role in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator 2".
The 30-year-old Oscar-nominated actor is in talks to play a character named Emperor Geta. Geta was an actual Roman emperor, but the sequel's story is not based on true events.
If the deal is sealed, Keoghan will star alongside a fellow 2023 Academy Award nominee, Paul Mescal, in the upcoming movie. Mescal has been tapped to play Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen's character Lucilla and the nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus from the first film. Spencer Treat Clark played the role in the original film.
Scott, who directed the original film, is set to return at the helming duty, with David Scarpa writing the script. Scott will also produce alongside Michael Pruss via Scott Free, and Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment.
The original film starred Russell Crowe as Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is forced to fight as a common gladiator under the rule of Commodus. The 58-year-old actor has ruled out returning for the sequel, saying, "Yeah we've had dinner and talked about it and all that stuff. So I know roughly how he's shaping the story. But yeah, if you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to the 'My name is' speech."
"So that young kid has grown up, and he's now the Emperor," he continued sharing. "I don't know what else happens at that point, so that's the idea. So it's not a remake. And it's not a direct sequel. It's not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something."
Mescal confirmed in February that filming will start in the summer, as Paramount Pictures has set November 22, 2024 as a release date for the sequel.
Keoghan was up for Best Supporting Role at the 2023 Oscars for his role in "The Banshees of Inisherin", but lost it to "Everything Everywhere All at Once" star Ke Huy Quan. Meanwhile, Mescal was nominated for Best Actor for his role in "Aftersun", but Brendan Fraser eventually nabbed the prize for his role in "The Whale".