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Gladiator 2’s Paul Mescal is seen in character for the first time

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Paul Mescal has been seen in character for the first time on the set of the upcoming Gladiator 2 film.  

Due for release later this year, Paul takes on the role of Roman Empire Lucius Verus, the grown-up son of Lucilla, portrayed as a child in the Oscar-winning original from 2000 starring Russell Crowe.

The Irish actor, 28, looked in good spirits as he sported a full suit of armour while strolling a set, bearing a striking resemblance to his predecessor Russell. 

He was made up to look bloodied and bruised, seemingly having filmed a fight scene.

Paul was also seen modelling Roman robes and boots as he milled around with the crew while smoking a cigarette. 

Paul Mescal has been seen in character for the first time on the set of the upcoming Gladiator 2 film.
The original historical epic grossed five times its budget, and it helped cement the stardom of Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix (Russell Crowe seen in Gladiator, 2000)
Pau was made up to look bloodied and bruised, seemingly having filmed a fight scene
Due for release later this year, Paul takes on the role of Roman Empire Lucius Verus, the grown-up son of Lucilla, portrayed as a child in the Oscar-winning original

While filming for Gladiator 2 had originally taken place in Morocco, these reshoots were being shot in Hove in East Sussex, England. 

The grounds were cleared for the battle scenes, with actors seen storming across the field on horses and in full armour.  

As had been rumoured for years, the sequel will center on Lucius (Paul), the nephew of Commodus and son of Maximus’ former lover Lucilla (Connie Nielsen).

Lucius was previously portrayed by Spencer Treat Clark in the original Gladiator, who idolized Maximus for his battles.

The sequel will be set after Maximus’ death, following Lucius, who has long thought that his mother is dead.

Denzel Washington also stars as as a character who’s name has yet to be revealed, described as a former slave turned wealthy arms dealer who hates emperors.

The cast also includes Joseph Quinn as Emperor Caracalla, Fred Hechinger as Emperor Greta and Pedro Pascal in an unspecified role.

Original Gladiator stars Connie Nielsen (Lucilla) and Derek Jacobi (Senator Gracchus) are also slated to return. 

Paul was surrounded by production staff as he got into character while filming in South Downs
The grounds were cleared for the battle scenes, with actors seen storming across the field on horses and in full armour
Extras were seen taking a break, with many sprawled across the grass in the Sussex countryside

The Irish actor looked in good spirits as he sported a full suit of armour while strolling a set, bearing a striking resemblance to his predecessor Russell
He was seen sharing a joken with members of the crew between takes
As had been rumoured for years, the sequel will center on Lucius (Paul), the nephew of Commodus and son of Maximus’ former lover Lucilla (Connie Nielsen)
Roman soldiers marched across what appeared to be a battlefield in another scene
Paul was seen gesturing to camera as a large white board was held aloft to his left
In another scene Paul appeared to be locked up in a prison wagon with other convicts
The group ragged and dishevelled as they clustered together

A camera crew filmed the actors as the wagon rumbled across the Sussex countryside
Paul revealed unkempt hair and a small growth of beard as he sat between two co-stars
At one point the actor cracked a smile
A handful of actors in tattered rags and battle clothing surrounded Paul in the wagon
Paul modelled Roman robes as he clambered into the vehicle between takes
The costume was rounded off with a pair of weathered knee-high boots
The actor looked on as extras and assistants surrounded the prison wagon
While the wagon will appear to be horsedrawn in the completed film, in reality it’s a purpose built cell on the back of flatbed trailer
Pail climbed aboard ahead of another scene
The actor looked ready for action as he prepared for cameras to roll on location in Sussex

The original classic earned $465 million worldwide from a $103 million budget and won five Oscars including Best Picture after its theatrical run in 2000.

The story is set in 180 AD, following Maximus returning home after leading Roman forces to victory over Germanic tribes.

Meanwhile, his Emperor, Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), is secretly murdered by his treacherous son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), after telling him he was unfit to rule.

After Maximus refused to pledge his loyalty to Commodus, he murdered his family, as Maximus is captured by slave traders as he must fight his way through various obstacles to get his vengeance against Commodus.

The film from director Ridley Scott and writers David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson is still considered a classic.

The role is the biggest of Paul’s career and comes just four years after his big break in BBC drama Normal People

At one point Paul took advantage of a break between scenes by creeping off for a cigarette
An unlit cigarette was clenched between his teeth as he walked across the exterior set
A make-up artist was seen touching up the actor’s dirt and blood streaked face
He idled with crew members while waiting for his name to be called ahead of another scene
One crew member appeared to spray his costume
The actor grimmed while smoking a cigarette between takes on the forthcoming epic
Cast…
… and crew were hard at work as the production filmed scenes in Sussex
While there had been talk of a sequel since 2001, it never fully came to fruition since 2018 when Paramount gave the project a green light

While there had been talk of a sequel since 2001, it never fully came to fruition since 2018 when Paramount gave the project a green light.

The highly anticipated sequel had been shooting in Morocco and the neighboring Sahara desert

Filming got off to a shaky start when it appeared a special effects shot had gone wrong, causing a dangerous explosion.

One on-set source shared their hopes that the injured crew members would make a full recovery, though their condition is unclear. 

‘It was terrifying — a huge ball of fire flew up and caught several crew members in its path,’ the source recalled. ‘In years of filming I’ve never seen an accident so scary.’

Filming got off to a shaky start when it appeared a special effects shot had gone wrong, causing a dangerous explosion
The sequel will be set after Maximus’ death, following Lucius, who has long thought that his mother is dead
The original historical epic grossed five times its budget, and it helped cement the stardom of Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix
Gladiator 2 is expected to debut in cinemas across the UK and US in late 2024

Witnesses to the explosion reportedly speculated that it may have been caused by a gas pipe rupture on set.

‘Six production staff had to be rushed to hospital for treatment,’ they said, and it appears that no actors on the film were injured in the inferno.

‘Hopefully everyone will be OK, but it was a serious accident,’ the source added. ‘Everyone involved, from the lowliest runners to the star names, has been shaken up by this.’

The original historical epic grossed five times its budget, and it helped cement the stardom of Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.

Gladiator won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.

While the new film brings back director Ridley Scott, Russell won’t be featured, as his character died at the end of the original film. 

Gladiator 2 is expected to debut in theaters in late 2024. 

Russell Crowe portrayed Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in the original and won the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in the film

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