Denzel Washington Cast as Ancient Warrior Hannibal in Netflix’s Historical Epic

Denzel Washington at the
Denzel Washington at the "Equalizer 2" premiere in 2018. Photo by A Perez Meca/REX/Shutterstock (9782159a)

Denzel Washington will soon appear in Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated Gladiator 2, and he’s already gearing up for a role in another historical epic. The two-time Oscar winner has just been cast as the ancient conqueror Hannibal in Antoine Fuqua’s next Netflix film.

The Carthaginian warrior Hannibal went down in history as a skilled military tactician. He’s best known for invading Italy by crossing the Alps atop North African elephants, and his victories against the Roman Empire became the stuff of legends.

According to the film’s official logline, this historical epic is “based on real-life warrior Hannibal, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest military commanders in history” and it covers the pivotal battles he led against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War.

Playing Hannibal is a realization of a lifelong dream for Washington, who decided to put it on the back burner for 20 years because he didn’t want to be away from his kids for too long. The three-time Oscar nominee and Gladiator scribe John Logan will be in charge of writing the script, while Antoine Fuqua is on board as the director. His collaboration with Washington kicked off with Training Day in 2001 and they most recently teamed up for the Equalizer franchise.