Denzel Washington will play Hannibal in new Netflix movie from Gladiator writer

Robert McCall holds up a pistol in The Equalizer
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Denzel Washington (pictured above in The Equalizer) is one of Hollywood's most consistently watchable and bankable actors, so we're always excited to hear about a new project in which he's the star. The latest is a new Netflix movie that sounds particularly interesting: it's about the ancient and infamous general Hannibal, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest warriors in history. 

Not only that, but the people he's making the film with are pretty stellar too. The writer is John Logan, the multiple Academy Award winner who penned Gladiator and The Aviator. And the director is Antoine Fuqua, who directed Washington in Training Day and The Equalizer

Hannibal's story is an expensive one to tell, and that means you need a serious star to play him. In Washington, it looks like Netflix has found just the man – and it looks like Washington has finally found the project he's wanted to be in for decades.

What do we know about Denzel Washington's Hannibal movie?

The film, currently untitled, covers the pivotal battles between Hannibal and the Romans during the Second Punic War. If, like me, you don't remember that particular conflagration, that was the one where Hannibal came over the mountains on war elephants, which it's safe to say came as a bit of a surprise to the Romans. With the help of his Gallic allies, Hannibal won massive victories in the battles of Trebia and Lake Trasimene.

Denzel Washington fighting people on elephants? We're sold already. And this is something of a passion project for the actor. Deadline reports that he wanted to star in the project some 20 years ago, but didn't want to be kept away from his kids for months on end as they were too young. 

This isn't the only historical epic Washington is involved in this year. He's currently in the sequel to Ridley Scott's Gladiator, which had to pause production in Morocco until the SAG-AFTRA strike was resolved. That's due to appear in cinemas in November 2024. 

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.