Pedro pascal wears glasses and poses on a red carpet for a 'The Last of Us' press event
Image Credit: Getty Images

Whoever’s working in the casting department for Gladiator 2 deserves a raise, because this historical epic’s ensemble just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

The latest addition to the blockbuster sequel comes straight from the internet’s collective dream board: Pedro Pascal, our current reigning Daddy©.

As reported by Deadline, Pascal will play an undisclosed role in the follow-up to the ’00 Best Picture-winning film. Ridley Scott returns to direct with a script from David Scarpa, who last worked with the director on 2017’s All The Money in The World.

Pascal is having one hell of year thanks to the success of The Last Of Us and season three of The Mandalorian, as well as his upcoming gay western short Strange Way Of Life, so this casting news only further cements his status as one of today’s most bankable (and lovable) stars.

The only thing is: We’re already worried about his mystery character’s fate. The last time we saw Pascal step into an arena and duke it out with someone was when he played Oberyn Martell in Game Of Thrones and, um… that didn’t go over so well.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. The good news is, he’ll likely be sharing the screen with a whole host of hunks, which has quickly put the film at the top of our Most Anticipated list for 2024. Let’s get into it!

*Head’s up: Spoilers for Gladiator ahead.*

If you’ll remember, the original Gladiator ended with Colosseum hero Maximus (Russell Crowe) dying valiantly, but not before he could slay his opponent and make a symbolic rallying cry from political reform in Rome.

Details for the sequel are sparse, but we know it will pick up years after Maximus’ death and follow the story of Lucius, the grandson of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who idolized the fallen warrior at a young age.

In the original, Lucius was played by a teenaged Spencer Treat Clark, and here he’ll be played as an adult by short shorts-wearing It Boy, Paul Mescal, fresh off his first Oscar nomination for Aftersun.

Will Lucius get to sport some short-sorts as well? Or at least a skimpy leather Gladiator skirt? Let’s hope so!

Opposite Mescal is yet another recent first-time Oscar nominee: The Banshees Of Inisherin‘s Barry Keoghan. He’s rumored to star as real-life Roman Emperor Greta, and we can easily see him as a spiritual heir to the kind of maniacal antagonism Joaquin Phoenix brought to the original.

And they’ll all be joined by a proper screen legend, the great Denzel Washington. We don’t know anything about his role yet either, but we have no doubt the man will be tearing it up on screen because when doesn’t he?

Also involved are Stranger Things breakout Joseph Quinn and Connie Nielsen, reprising her role as Lucilla—Lucius’ mother—from the original. The talented Djimon Honsou is also heavily rumored to return as the honorable Juba, but no official announcement has been made.

In short, this cast is already too hot to handle, and we don’t even think it’s begun filming. But when it does, we’ll be anxiously awaiting those inevitable leaked photos from set.

In the meantime, reacquaint yourself with the trailer to the Russell Crowe original below:

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