Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan in talks to join Gladiator 2 (updated)

The increasingly impressive cast for Gladiator 2 embodies strength and honour. Ridley's Scott's Roman sequel is reportedly adding the revered Oscar-winner Denzel Washington to its ranks. And he, in turn, will be joined by recent Banshees of Inisherin Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan.

That's some pretty dramatic arsenal. Washington last worked with Scott to impressive effect on the period gangster movie American Gangster, released in 2017. He also worked with Scott's late brother Tony on several action-thrillers including the well-regarded Crimson Tide from 1995.

As for Keoghan, this is his first time working with the director. They will join lead actor (and Aftersun Oscar nominee) Paul Mescal who is set to play the grown-up version of the first movie's character Lucius.

Scott's first Gladiator movie made an Oscar-winning star out of Russell Crowe and dazzled audiences with its glistening, brutal depiction of the Roman Empire. The nature of the sequel's plot is currently under wraps – might we expect Lucius to carry the torch for Crowe's deceased character Maximus? Might Lucius himself be turned into a gladiator?

We're imagining that the authoritative Washington will be playing a slave owner in the manner of the first movie's Proximo, played by the late Oliver Reed. Washington, who has yet to officially sign on the dotted line, was reportedly won over by the "badass" role presented to him in the script, reports Deadline. When you can get a Hollywood legend that excited, you know you have something in the bag.

David Scarpa, who scribed Scott's movie All the Money in the World, will pen the screenplay. Gladiator veterans Janty Yates (costumes) and Arthur Max (production design) are also reported to be returning.

Will Gladiator 2 echo in eternity? Tweet us your thoughts on the movie's casting @Cineworld.

UPDATE: It's now been confirmed that the Internet's Favourite Dad™, Pedro Pascal, is joining the cast of Gladiator 2. Connie Nielsen will reprise her role as Lucilla, Lucius' mother, from the first movie, and Stranger Things' Joseph Quinn will also be featuring.