Without a caped hero or contrived easter egg in sight, it’s fair to say that Denis Villeneuve’s hardboiled narcotics thriller Sicario doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the sequel treatment. But low and behold, only nine months after the drama reaped the benefit of stellar reviews and a healthy box office gross of $85 million, Lionsgate and Black Label Media are pushing full steam ahead with their budding new franchise.
That’s according to Deadline, revealing that not only has Sicario 2 pinned down an official title – Soldado – but it’s also eyeing Stefano Sollima to pick up the mantle from Villeneuve, who is all but set to dive into production on a sequel from the other end of the creative spectrum with Blade Runner 2.
Best known for his work on Suburra, the intricate neo-noir Italian thriller that features themes of corruption and morally bankrupt leads, Sollima is a good fit for the plum gig. Indeed, Soldado is set to welcome back Josh Brolin’s shady CIA operative along with Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious Alejandro Gillick. One member of the original cast that won’t be returning, however, is Emily Blunt’s rookie FBI lead. Contrary to previous reports, the script penned by Taylor Sheridan left out Blunt’s fish-out-of-water Kate Mercer, which is pretty disappointing given the actress’ impressive turn in the 2015 sleeper hit.
Alas, as things stand Del Toro’s Gillick and Brolin’s Matt Graver will anchor the sequel, and Deadline notes that production on Sicario 2 – now officially titled Soldado – is expected to kick-off in the fall.