Released in 2015, the Denis Villeneuve directed crime thriller Sicario may not have arrived on an ocean of hype, but quickly emerged as one of the year’s biggest critical darlings. Unfortunately, critical praise and a few Oscar nominations didn’t necessarily translate to big time box-office success.
Made on a budget of roughly $30 million, Sicario ultimately earned about $80 million worldwide during its theatrical run. Movies generally need to almost double their production budget to break even, meaning that Sicario was at best a mild financial success. Still, the tense drama has continued to garner many new fans via home video and streaming platforms in the time since it left multiplexes, making the news that Lionsgate is officially moving forward with a sequel not too big a surprise.
The status of Sicario 2 was confirmed during a recent interview with producers Thad Luckenbill, Trent Luckenbill, and Molly Smith, the trio behind production company Black Label Media. According to Smith, Taylor Sheridan — writer of the original film — recently turned in his latest draft of the script for the sequel. During the interview with THR, it was also mentioned that stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro are all set to return.
In addition to the primary cast, the producers expressed a desire to see Villeneuve return to his role as director, but the trio currently aren’t sure whether his busy schedule directing the likes of Blade Runner 2 will afford him the time do so. In the meantime though, the acclaimed director remains part of the Sicario 2 development process.
For those yet to check out the first Sicario, the film centers on FBI agent Kate Macer (Blunt), who finds herself reassigned to a special government task force after a drug bust gone wrong. Leading the team is Matt Graver (Brolin), an undercover CIA operative working for the Department of Defense. Their stated mission is to extradite the brother of notorious Cartel boss Manuel Diaz from Mexico back to the U.S. for interrogation. Assisting in this task is the mysterious Alejandro Gillick (Del Toro), a man of questionable ethics and allegiances that has his own motives for targeting Diaz. The story of Sicario 2 will focus primarily on Alejandro, and serve to shed further light on both the character’s background and his dealings post-Sicario.
Of course, there is likely to be some debate among fans of Sicario whether a sequel even needs to happen. Sicario functioned very well as a self-contained story, and adding another chapter to the tale could serve to undermine the original’s effective ending. There is also the question of whether Sheridan and the producers can succeed in constructing a believable scenario that would serve to reunite Blunt, Brolin, and Del Toro’s characters.
Considering the decidedly shady nature of the operation conducted in Sicario, and the fact that the three characters didn’t exactly end things on great terms, it’s a bit hard to imagine why they would ever willingly choose to work together again. However, if Sicario 2 does indeed end up happening, bringing back the original writer, stars, and possibly director is definitely a good foundation to start from.
Sicario 2 is in early development and has no current release date.