There were scenes of ecstasy amongst Paul Mescal fans everywhere yesterday, when the first-look pictures from the set of 'Gladiator II' emerged.

Mescal, of course, leads the cast in Ridley Scott's highly-anticipated sequel, and will play the role of Lucius - who was the son of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) in the 2000 film.

Many have noted in candid pictures of Mescal over the past year or so that the Irish actor has undergone a physical transformation for the role, too - and it's one that has also been noted by some of his co-stars.

'The Last of Us' star Pedro Pascal, who stars alongside the Maynooth man in the film, spoke of that transformation in a new interview with Vanity Fair, and even revealed that he had given Mescal a nickname on set.

'It’s brutal, man," he said of his newfound muscular physique. "I call him Brick Wall Paul. He got so strong. I would rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again. To go up against somebody that fit and that talented and that much younger…."

He added: "Outside of Ridley being a total genius, Paul is a big reason as to why I would put my poor body through that experience."

The film is set to be released on November 15th 2024.