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Paul Mescal says he was "too afraid" to talk to Gladiator 2 co-star Pedro Pascal

 Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal
Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal

Paul Mescal says he was too scared to talk to eventual Gladiator 2 co-star Pedro Pascal, and we don't blame him.

"I was too afraid to go up to him," Mescal told Esquire. The two ran into each other at LAX shortly before Pascal was cast in Gladiator 2. "He came up and just seemed so genuine; I’m really looking forward to hanging out with him."

Ridley Scott's Gladiator premiered in 2000 nominated for 12 Academy Awards and ultimately won five, including Best Picture. The film starred Russell Crowe as a Roman general who sets out to get revenge after his family is murdered by an emperor's corrupt son.

Gladiator 2 will follow Lucius (Paul Mescal), the nephew of Commodus. The cast also includes Connie Nielsen, Denzel Washington, May Calamawy, and Joseph Quinn, with Ridley Scott returning to direct. Crowe is reportedly not involved – and really doesn't want to talk about it.

Mescal added: "I can’t tell you how stressed I am talking about that film in particular, because it’s definitely the biggest one I’ve done. I feel really excited, but, like, it’s difficult to get away from the legacy of the film a bit. I think it’s really well written and it pays homage to the first one, but it’s very much something that I think I can step into and make comfortably my own."

Production on the sequel has come to a temporary halt due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. Barry Keoghan was previously announced as part of the cast, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

Gladiator 2 is set for a November 22, 2024 premiere date. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2023 and beyond.