Why isn’t Spencer Treat Clark playing Lucius in Gladiator 2?
3 mins read

Why isn’t Spencer Treat Clark playing Lucius in Gladiator 2?

Paul Mescal as Lucius in “Gladiator 2” and Spencer Treat Clark as Lucius in “Gladiator”.
Paramount Pictures Film Studio

  • The first trailer for Gladiator 2 shows Paul Mescal as Lucius battling Marcus Acacius, played by Pedro Pascal.
  • In the original Gladiator film, the role of younger Lucius was played by Spencer Treat Clark.
  • Here’s why Clark won’t reprise the role in Gladiator 2.

A trailer for the Gladiator sequel was released on Tuesday, leaving fans wondering why Paul Mescal is playing the role of slave master Lucius and not Spencer Treat Clark, who played him in the original.

In Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Russell Crowe played Maximus Decimus Meridius, a former Roman general who was betrayed and sold into slavery. Lucius, the heir to the Roman Empire, watches Maximus fight in the Colosseum.

The 2000 film is one of the most beloved historical epics of all time and won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor. As such, there’s a lot of pressure on “Gladiator 2” to live up to the lofty expectations set by the original.

The first trailer for Gladiator 2 , out November 22, suggests Lucius has disappeared after the events of the original film and created a life for himself. But like Maximus, he is forced to become a warrior when he is captured by General Marcus Acacius (Pedro Pascal) and his soldiers.

It’s no surprise Scott cast Mescal as Lucius in the sequel, considering the Irish actor is a rising star after critically acclaimed performances in Normal People, Aftersun and All of Us Strangers.

However, fans of “Gladiator” on social media claim that It’s strange that Scott didn’t ask Clark to reprise the role since he’s still working as an actor.

Scott said he needed someone younger to play Lucius in Gladiator 2

Clark, now 36, also played Joseph Dunn in “Unbreakable” alongside Bruce Willis — a role he later reprised in 2019’s “Glass.” He has also appeared in several TV shows, including “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Animal Kingdom” and “Manhunt.”

Last November, Scott told Deadline that he wanted to cast a younger actor for the role of Lucius in Gladiator 2 and that he was impressed with the 28-year-old Mescal in Normal People.

Scott said, “I’m always looking for someone, something new and fresh. I mean, freshness is so important. So they don’t carry… baggage is a terrible word for what they’ve done before, because it’s a great thing, but you remember he just created this character.

“I watched this show called Normal People. It’s unusual for me, but I watched one and I thought it was interesting. These actors are really good. I watched the whole damn show and I thought, damn.”

He added: “So this came at a time when I needed a 23-year-old, 24-year-old to take over the role of Lucius. And I just said, ‘Do you want to do it?’ He said, ‘Yes.'”

Representatives for Spencer Treat Clark did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Correction: July 11, 2024 — An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the first “Gladiator” film won the Oscar for Best Director.