Surely one of the most unlikely films to spawn a sequel in recent memory was Denis Villeneuve’s carefully crafted 2015 thriller Sicario. The film is an unflinching look at how America responds to violence abroad and our foreign policy at large, all told through the lens of an operation targeting Mexican drug cartels. It’s one of the best films of 2015, with tremendous performances by Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, but a franchise? That seems an odd fit.
And yet, shortly before Sicario’s release, we learned that Lionsgate was developing a follow-up with the original film’s writer Taylor Sheridan. The studio subsequently set Gomorrah director Stefano Sollima to take the helm, and while Blunt isn’t returning, Del Toro’s character now takes center stage with Brolin also set to appear.
Production on Sicario 2 is set to get underway shortly (with Sicario 3 already in the works as well), and Collider’s own Tommy Cook recently got the chance to speak with Sheridan about the film at an event for the Western-tinged crime drama Hell or High Water, which Sheridan wrote. The screenwriter revealed that Sicario 2 doubles down on the hardened aspects of the first film:
“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. 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.”
While I’ll admit I was dubious about the prospects of Sicario 2—especially given that Sicario was my favorite film of 2015—these comments from Sheridan are encouraging. He understands that with Sicario, he and Villeneuve used the drug cartel aspect of the film to tell a larger, much more complicated story, and it sounds like that’ll continue with the follow-up. Here’s hoping Sollima crafts a worthy sequel.