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08/03/2016

He’s out and about promoting his latest thriller, Hell Or High Water (which itself is pretty darned good), but screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has been speaking about his next script, the sequel to Sicario, Soldado.

The film will be directed by Stefano Sollima (Gomorrah), and will see the return of both Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin‘s characters (though not Emily Blunt’s).

Here’s what he had to say about the script, which he is still hard at work on, to Collider.

“Lionsgate understood that they bought something that was a spec [on the first film]. So there was a certain amount of latitude they had to give me [on the sequel]. What usually would be a long meeting about what’s this character about, what’s his arc – we didn’t have that. They trusted me to just go do it, and with Sicario, which I’m really proud of, it really approaches some difficult subjects,” he said.

It sounds like the tone of the next film will be a little darker, and indeed more brutal. The screenwriter went on…

“I didn’t want to demean that with the second one. So I really wrote something I double dared them to actually make. Ten times more unsentimental, more vicious and really reflective… It’s funny a lot of people think Sicario‘s about the drug war and the cartels. It’s not. It’s a movie about American policy and the way that we police and [Sicario 2] is that on steroids.”

There’s even talk of a third movie on the way, but I guess we’ll have to see how well the second one performs. If its half as good as the first film in terms of reception and quality, we’re all in for a treat.

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06/16/2016

The unexpected follow-up to last year’s crime thriller ‘Sicario’ will make Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro its main characters, while it’s also been announced that it will be followed by a third instalment, too.

Director Stefano Sollima, who will replace Denis Villeneuve in the hot seat for the sequel, entitled ‘Soldado’, told the Independent, “[It’s a] completely different story with just two of the characters that you met in ‘Sicario’. The antagonists are now absolutely the main characters.”

But they’re not just stopping there, because the Italian director also confirmed to the publication, “The idea is to make three anthology movies with some of the core actors and [set] in the same world.”

This means that Josh Brolin’s CIA agent Matt Graver and Benicio Del Toro’s hitman Alejandro Gillick will lead the way. However we’re still not too sure if the follow-up will be set before or after their antics with Emily Blunt’s innocent FBI agent Kate Macer.

It’s already been confirmed that Blunt will be unable to return as she’s busy taking the titular role of ‘Mary Poppins’ in the upcoming remake, while Villeneuve is also off overseeing the ‘Blade Runner’ sequel.

This makes the inclusion of Brolin and Del Toro all the more important, because without them ‘Soldado’ and ‘Sicario 3 could have easily deflated. A connection between ‘Sicario’ and ‘Soldado’ has also been solidified by the return of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, too.

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06/01/2016

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate and Black Label Media are getting closer to a production start on Soldado, the second installment of the drug war thriller that began with 2015’s Sicario. I’m told that Stefano Sollima is the front-runner to direct the second installment and should have the job shortly, with talks expected to wrap up quickly. Denis Villenueve directed the first film. Sollima is the Italian director who has made a number of memorably gritty crime thrillers but is best known for directing the Italian miniseries Gomorra and the features Suburra and A.C.A.B. (All Cops Are Bastards). Soldado was scripted by Taylor Sheridan. Black Label Media and Lionsgate are co-financing.

The sequel focuses on Alejandro Gillick, the shadowy Man on Fire-like protagonist played by Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin’s CIA agent Matt Graver, who in the first film established themselves as hellbent on hunting down cartel kingpins, no matter what. The script by Sheridan — who wrote the original — has been very well received. Gone is the principled FBI agent character played by Emily Blunt. The subject matter is very topical, as Gillick and Graver concern themselves with what is being smuggled across the border between Mexico and the U.S. in the tunnels used to move drugs and illegal immigrants. Those tunnels also can be used to bring terrorists into the U.S.

The sequel is being produced by Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk, Black Label’s Molly Smith and Thad and Trent Luckinbill, and Edward McDonnell. I’m told that the plan is to move into production by the fall and that the talent all has sparked to Sollima. Final meetings with the studio are happening shortly. Sollima is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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