Actor Paul Mescal will play the lead in Gladiator 2 from Ridley Scott, and the actor has now commented on the film, including how he landed the part, what his plans are for a physical transformation of his body, and more.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Mescal said Scott offered him the role of Lucius–he did not have to audition. Mescal had a meeting with the 85-year-old director and they “discussed the parameters of the story,” Mescal said. Next, he got a script, and that was that.

“I’m so proud I get to make it. It’s an intimidating feat. It’s something I’m nervous about but something I feel like I can do,” Mescal said.

Mescal was asked what kind of physical transformation he might undergo to play the role. He said he understands there can be a focus around physique for a film like Gladiator 2, but he said he does not find that very interesting to focus on. Mescal said he wants to make sure his character comes across as believable, and suggested he might not bulk up to an extreme degree as others have before him in roles like this.

“Of course there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that, I’m not interested. This guy’s got to fight and got to be a beast,” Mescal said. “And whatever that looks and feels like is right for me, is what it’s going to be. Sometimes I see films and I’m like, ‘That person doesn’t look real.'”

Plot details for Gladiator 2 remain under wraps. What we do know, however, is that the screenplay was written by David Scarpa (All the Money in the World, Man in the High Castle). The movie hits theaters in November 2024.

2000’s Gladiator was a huge critical and commercial success, earning $500 million at the box office and picking up 12 Oscar nominations. It won five Oscars, including best picture.

Mescal is up for an Oscar this year for his leading performance in Aftersun.