In an unexpected turn of events, Irish actor Barry Keoghan has opted to bow out of the upcoming Gladiator 2 due to reported scheduling conflicts. Keoghan was initially set to portray Emperor Geta, a significant character in the sequel to the Oscar-winning 2000 film, Gladiator. However, fans of the actor shouldn’t be too disheartened.
The Gladiator 2 Ensemble Cast
Despite Keoghan’s departure, the Gladiator 2 project continues to boast an impressive cast. May Calamawy, Lior Raz, Peter Mensah, and Matt Lucas have all joined the project, adding to an already star-studded cast that includes Paul Mescal in the titular role, Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and Connie Nielsen. Derek Jacobi will be reprising his role as Gracchus from the original film.
Ridley Scott, the director of the first Gladiator, is set to return, leading the project with David Scarpa penning the script. It’s an exciting prospect for fans of the original film, which was a critical and commercial success, bagging five Oscars out of its 12 nominations and raking in over $460 million at the global box office.
Release Details and Production Team
Gladiator 2 is scheduled to hit the big screens on November 22, 2024, under the banner of Paramount Pictures. Apart from directing, Ridley Scott will also serve as a producer for the film, alongside Michael Pruss, the President of Scott Free, Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon Entertainment, and executive producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.
The original Gladiator was a co-production between Universal and DreamWorks. While DreamWorks will not be involved in the sequel, Universal retains the right to partner again when the project is packaged.
What Keoghan’s Departure Means
Barry Keoghan was viewed as the perfect actor to portray Geta in Gladiator 2. Geta, a real Roman Emperor in the early 3rd century, ruled with his father Septimius Severus and older brother Caracalla. However, the brothers were unable to share power peacefully, resulting in Geta’s murder in 211 AD.
Despite this loss, Keoghan’s career continues to thrive. He recently received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin, standing out amongst an ensemble cast that earned an impressive nine Academy Award nominations
Barry Keoghan’s Upcoming Projects
Although he is best known for his performances in indie films like The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Keoghan also starred as Druig in Marvel’s Eternals and made a significant appearance in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. His current filming project is Trey Edward Shults’ latest endeavour, which features an impressive cast, including Jenna Ortega and The Weekend.
Keoghan is also working on a film titled Bring Them Down, which may be the reason for his exit from Gladiator 2. The actor will also appear in the black comedy-drama thriller Saltburn, which is written, directed, and produced by Emerald Fennell. This film, inspired by The Talented Mr. Ripley, follows a college student obsessed with a wealthy classmate from an aristocratic family. The filming for Saltburn began in July 2022.
Gladiator 2’s New Cast Members
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May Calamawy, another recent addition to the Gladiator 2 cast, has a promising future in Hollywood. After a thorough search for the right fit for her character, Calamawy bagged the part following multiple auditions. She rose to prominence last year in Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight series, starring opposite Oscar Isaac. Marvel is expected to have big plans for her going forward. Calamawy can also be seen in Duke Johnson’s The Actor opposite Andre Holland.
Fred Hechinger, best known for his breakout role in Season 1 of HBO’s The White Lotus, has another high-profile project in Marvel’s Kraven the Hunter, set to release in October. He was also recently seen in Scott Cooper’s Pale Blue Eye and Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.
Matt Lucas, who is best known for comedies like Little Britain and Bridesmaids, will also be seen in Warner Bros.’ Wonka starring Timothée Chalamet.
Lior Raz, celebrated for his hit Netflix show Fauda, will be seen next in Apple’s anthology series The Crowded Room opposite Tom Holland. He was also seen in Operation Finale.
In summary, while Barry Keoghan’s exit from Gladiator 2 is a disappointment for fans, it’s clear that the film has a stellar cast and crew dedicated to making it a success. Meanwhile, Keoghan continues to make waves in the film industry, proving that there are many exciting projects on the horizon for him.
What do you make of this news? Are you shocked to hear that Barry Keoghan opted to exit Gladiator 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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