Spider-Man, Captain America and the X-Men aren't the only comic book characters that have movie sequels arriving this year, as the citizens of Basin City will soon head back to the big screen (following a nine-year absence) in the long-awaited Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Robert Rodriguez (like on the original movie) co-directed the second Sin City installment with the property's creator Frank Miller, based on the latter's graphic novel series about various thugs, crooks, mob bosses, psychopaths, femme fatales and tough-as-nails women who occupy the mean streets of a city eternally shrouded in the haze of a Noirish fog. However, much like the first Sin City movie interweaves stories that jump back and forth in time, the sequel isn't a conventional followup, in terms of story progression.
Sin City 2's eponymous narrative thread - based on Miller's "A Dame to Kill For" comic book - is actually a prequel to "The Big Fat Kill", a.k.a. the Clive Owen segment in the first movie. Josh Brolin (Oldboy) steps into Owen's role as Dwight McCarthy in Dame to Kill For (for reasons that the sequel will explain), while Eva Green - who stars in next week's fellow Miller comic film adaptation 300: Rise of an Empire - plays the woman who forever changes Dwight's life.
However, the first images released from Miller and Rodriguez' new film aren't focused on the "Dame to Kill For" players, but instead on the main characters in three of the sequel's additional narrative segments. That includes a pair of familiar faces - Jessica Alba's bar dancer Nancy Callahan and Mickey Rourke's unstable brute Marv - along with new addition Johnny, a character (played by Joseph-Gordon Levitt) who was created specifically for the second Sin City movie.
You can check out those images - previously only available online as scans - below, courtesy of EW:
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Rourke's storyline in A Dame to Kill For is based on Miller's comic book narrative "Just Another Saturday Night", which reveals what Marv got up to on the night after he saw Nancy meet up with John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) - fresh out of prison - in the first movie's segment "That Yellow Bastard" (hint: Marv didn't just go home and watch the latest episode of Jeopardy).
By comparison, Levitt's story - an adventure titled "The Long Bad Night" - was scripted anew by Miller; explicit plot details are under-wraps for now, though Rodriguez teased EW that Levitt's Johnny gets in trouble because "He beat the wrong guy at poker" - his "most foul enemy," according to previous reports. Miller also wrote new material for the Sin City sequel's fourth segment, wherein Nancy undergoes an emotional/personal transformation, after the events in the first movie (which concluded with Hartigan committing suicide in order to protect her):
“She’s out for revenge,” says Miller, who co-directed the film. “She is sick of being treated — as she puts it — ‘as a piece of ass.’” Robert Rodriguez, who also returns to co-helm the project, adds: “You see a little girl in that first film. By the end of this, she’s the avenging angel.”
Admittedly, Rodriguez and Miller's first Sin City isn't so much revered for its content; each segment of the film revolves around a similarly-flawed Noir archetype/protagonist who seeks redemption in a morally-bankrupt world by saving (or avenging) the woman they love - in keeping with the neo-Noir influence. Rather, it's the form and presentation of the stories, be it the tangled web that the stories form or the digitally-created chiaroscuro lighting and black/white color scheme that reduces the pulpy world (and its inhabitants) to its bare-bone elements.
Story structure-wise and visually-speaking, A Dame to Kill For so far seems on par with its predecessor (even though it won't seem so innovative by comparison), though Rodriguez has indicated before that he believes that the incorporation of 3D into the mix on the sequel will end up strengthening the vividness and sensory-punch packed by the (often grisly) onscreen imagery. He reiterated that in his interview with EW, saying:
"There’s something about the way Sin City works that I thought would lend itself very well to 3-D because the images are so stripped down and abstract…you almost can see it better in 3-D. It’ll be really cool.”
Excited (or not) to see the Sin City sequel at last? Let us know in the comments section!
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens in U.S. theaters on August 22nd, 2014.