Sicario isn’t the kind of film that demands a sequel, but there’s no denying the horrifying allure of the world it depicts. Even when you’re disgusted by what’s on screen, you simply cannot look away. You’re drawn into the nightmare. The story of America’s war on drugs, and the story of how the drug trade has terrorized and decimated entire communities in Mexico, is bigger than a single movie.
So there’s plenty of material for a Sicario sequel to dive into and now that sequel has a title: Soldado, the Spanish word for soldier. It also has a new director, since Sicario‘s Denis Villeneuve has officially moved on.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news: Italian director Stefano Sollima is currently in talks to step in for Villeneuve. I’m unfamiliar with Sollima’s work, so I cannot do that thing where I instantly pre-judge a movie that hasn’t even begun shooting yet. However, he is best known for directing the television series Gomorrah, which tells the story of a crime syndicate operating in Naples, so he has some experience in telling these kinds of stories. Interestingly, THR notes that Green Room and Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier was the original frontrunner, but has to back out due to scheduling issues.
Although Villeneuve has absconded to make a sequel to some little movie called Blade Runner (and he’s dragged cinematographer Roger Deakins with him), original screenwriter Taylor Sheridan retuned to pen Soldado. The sequel will apparently focus on Benicio del Toro‘s Alejandro Gillick, with Josh Brolin‘s shady CIA agent Matt Graver also returning. However, Emily Blunt’s straight-arrow FBI agent Kate Macer will sit this one out. After all, Blunt is off making a sequel to some other little movie called Mary Poppins.
Although Sicario wasn’t an enormous box office hit, it performed exceptionally well for an R-rated thriller built around a violent and difficult subject. The film hung around in theaters for longer than expected, growing into a sleeper hit and ultimately grossing $80 million worldwide on a budget of $30 million. All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope that the folks at Lionsgate don’t get nervous and change the title to Sicario 2. After all, Soldado is one hell of a title for a sequel.
We can also cross our fingers and hope that Sollima can capture the menace that made the original film so simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. Sicario was no ordinary crime thriller and its sequel should follow suit.