While he was too busy to return for the first sequel, Denis Villeneuve is apparently eager to come back for Sicario 3. The original Sicario was an anxiety-inducing thriller starring Emily Blunt as an FBI agent assigned to a mysterious task force in Mexico. She’s kept in the dark about the mission and her role in it, and she quickly finds herself out of her depth. The movie seemingly arrived out of nowhere in 2015, and thanks to the excellent performances by Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro and Villeneuve’s direction, it became one of the year’s best reviewed movies.
Sicario’s bleak world and haunted character hardly make it a natural candidate for a franchise, but Sicario 2: Soldado was quickly greenlit off the buzz of the original. Blunt won’t be returning because - given the character’s unplesant experiences in the original - it’s understandable she wouldn’t sign up for another mission. Denis Villeneuve was also too busy with Blade Runner 2049 to helm the sequel, so Stefano Sollima took over instead.
While Villeneuve’s presence will be missed on Sicario 2, a new Empire interview with franchise producer Ed McDonnell reveals the auteur may return for a potential third movie.
"He [Villeneuve] wishes he had been available [for Sicario 2]. We even talked about him maybe coming back for the third one, should there be one. He said, 'If I were available, I'd be directing this movie tomorrow.' But we always knew he was going to be in the middle of Blade Runner when the script started to come together."
While it would be great to have Villeneuve return for Sicario 3 – should the movie happen – his schedule looks full for the next few years. Villeneuve has worked non-stop the last few years on films like Arrival, Sicario and Enemy, and in addition to wanting to take a small break from filmmaking, his next project will be Dune. Based on Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel, Villeneuve has previously called the forthcoming film “the project of my life,” and the director is also attached to an R-rated Cleopatra film with Sony. He also ruled himself out of James Bond 25, despite reportedly being a top candidate for the job.
Sicario 2: Soldado is shaping up nicely even without Villeneuve, and is said to be even darker and “more severe” than the original. While the movie features the return of Brolin and Del Toro it's said to be more of a standalone story than a direct sequel, which is a formula future movies will follow. It’s too early to tell if there’ll be another movie beyond Soldado, but if Sicario 3 is made and Villeneuve finds a gap in his schedule for it, movie fans won’t be complaining.
- Sicario: Day of the Soldado/Sicario 2 (2018) release date: Jun 29, 2018