Sicario was one of the best films of last year. The dark crime thriller was successful enough to warrant a sequel but we knew that some players from the original would not be returning. Director Denis Villeneuve is busy with Blade Runner 2 and Emily Blunt’s character seemed to have completed her arc at the end of the first film. The only returning characters will be Benicio del Toro’s terrifying hitman and Josh Brolin’s amoral CIA agent.
The sequel — titled Soldado, the Spanish word for “soldier” —will be written by the original film’s screenwriter, Taylor Sheridan, and will focus more on del Toro’s character as the protagonist and his continuing mission to ruthlessly hunt down the leaders of Mexico’s drug cartels. Considering how monstrous and horrifying del Toro’s character was in Sicario, it will certainly be intriguing to see how an audience will follow him on another brutal assignment. Will they go the most palatable route and offer him some kind of path to redemption? Honestly, that would be something of a letdown after the grisly and shocking conclusion to Sicario.
The new film will be directed by Stefano Sollima, an Italian director best known for his work on the television show Gomorrah. Soldado will be his English-speaking feature debut and I’m definitely interested to see what he brings to this world. Villeneuve is one of our best visual directors working today so Sollima has some big shoes to fill.
No release date has been set yet but expect this project to move quickly. Sequels need to maintain a close release proximity to the original so that people remain interested. I’m betting that this sequel will act as a standalone feature given the change in title and the shift in character focus, so expect this to be something you can see without having seen Sicario. But you should definitely see Sicario.