Oscar-Nominee Barry Keoghan Explains Why He Had to Exit ‘Gladiator II’

Oscar-Nominee Barry Keoghan Explains Why He Had to Exit 'Gladiator II'
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To be honest, Gladiator II is one of the more unexpected sequels we got, but… we managed to get it nevertheless. Sure, the history of Roman gladiators is a rich one, but then Scott’s original film first aired, especially with what happened to the main character, no one really thought that the story would be exploited further. More gladiator films? Sure, but not a sequel to the original movie. But, we’re back, and the movie is, if everything goes according to plan, going to come out on November 22, 2024, and will star Oscar-nominee Paul Mescal as Lucius Verus, a character from the first movie.

But, while this is more or less settled, we have to state that another Oscar nominee was initially attached to the project, but has left it in the meantime due to supposed scheduling conflicts. The actor in question is Barry Keoghan and in this report, you will find out from Keoghan himself why he had to leave the project after having signed on to work on it.

In case you did not know, Keoghan was signed to portray co-emperor Geta, the main antagonist of the movie alongside Joseph Quinn’s co-emperor Caracalla; the villainous role originally played by Joaquin Phoenix in the first movie was now split into two, to be in line with Roman history. But, while Keoghan accepted the role and was slated to appear in the movie, it was announced that he had left the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Not much was revealed then, but in a recent interview for IndieWire, the young actor revealed the real reasons behind his departure, which do confirm that a scheduling conflict was the main issue:

Barry, there’s a rumor you dropped out of “Gladiator 2” to star in “Bird” for Andrea Arnold, a director you’ve long said many times you wanted to work with. Is that true?

Keoghan: [Demurring] Um, conflicts, schedule conflicts. I am a massive fan of “Gladiator” and a massive fan of that cast. It’s a shame you can’t do both. But that happens in this game. You can’t do both.

Rogowski: I think sometimes it’s also due to productions that play little power games and then you just have to say, “OK, bye bye.” But it’s unnecessary. It’s very rare that you really can’t do both. Most of the time, it’s two productions claiming they’re right and pretending that they can’t change schedule.

Keoghan: It always happens. Shooting in two different countries as well makes it really difficult.

Source: IndieWire

As you can see, the real reason behind Keoghan’s departure is the Bird movie, which he hopes to see released very soon. The actor added that he was quite proud to have filmed the movie and we hope to see it soon as well. As for his role in Gladiator II, he has since been replaced by Fred Hechinger. This is all that we have for you at this time, but be sure to keep following us for more updates!

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