Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan says that the script for Soldado makes the first movie look like a comedy. Sicario, which was helmed by acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), didn’t break box office records when it released in 2015, but its haunting representation of the United States’ War on Drugs, coupled with expert performances by the main cast — Emily Blunt (Kate Mercer), Benicio del Toro (Alejandro Gillick), and Josh Brolin (Matt Graver) — were convincing enough for the studio to commission a sequel, titled Soldado.
Although some of the main cast members — namely del Toro and Brolin — are returning for the second installment, most of the crew has been changed. Villeneuve won’t return to the director’s chair for the sequel, though it’s been reported that he’s remained involved with the story. Instead, Soldado will be directed by Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima (which marks the director’s first American production), with Dariusz Wolski replacing Roger Deakins as cinematographer and Hildur Guðnadóttir replacing Jóhann Jóhannsson as the film’s composer. However, Sheridan has stayed on as the screenwriter, and he’s now revealed an interesting tidbit about the story.
Sheridan, who was nominated for an Academy Award for last year’s Hell or High Water, recently told Collider that the script for Soldado makes Sicario appear tame by comparison, which is something that people may not have expected considering the sheer brutality of the first film.
“When I told [the studio] I would write [the sequel], they asked for the traditional studio call and the outline and all that, and I said, ‘No, no, no, guys. The first one was original. I’m just going to go away and I’m going to come back with it and there you go.’ And they trusted me to do that, and then read it and were like, ‘Ah, s–t. We’re in a lot of trouble.’ It makes the first one look like a comedy. Yeah, I’m not the guy to ask to write a sequel.”
Sheridan calling Sicario a comedy in comparison to the story that he created for Soldado is certainly interesting, though the comments mimic similar statements made by other people involved with the project, specifically that the second installment will differ from the first movie. Furthermore, Soldado isn’t about continuing the story laid out in Sicario, but rather revisiting these characters with another story, which is why the new chapter can be considered both a sequel and a prequel. So, in addition to bringing back del Toro and Brolin’s characters, Sheridan has also said that there’s less supervision and that the policing aspect has been removed.
Soldado (which means “Soldier” in Spanish, whereas Sicario means “Hitman”) had gone into production late last year, with several newcomers having joined the cast earlier this year. However, Sony Pictures, who took over distribution following Black Label Media’s falling out with Lionsgate, has yet to set a release date.
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