Sin City 2 (a.k.a. Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) feels a bit like a missed opportunity to strike while the iron's hot, seeing how it's taken over seven years for Robert Rodriguez to get production underway. In the meantime, Miller's street cred as a convention-breaking comic book writer has continued to erode and the once-innovative B&W digital photography of Sin City had been the subject of countless Web parodies. Not to mention, its 'coolness' diminished further following Miller's descent into unintentional self-mockery with The Spirit.
By this time next year, we will know for certain whether or not the Sin City sequel (which began filming just yesterday) was indeed worth the years of rumors and false starts. For now, though, anticipation from the fanbase remains quite high, based on sustained adoration for Rodriguez and Miller's previous adaptation of the latter's stylized neo-Noir graphic novel series.
Heat Vision has reported that Rodriguez began shooting Sin City 2 at his Troublemaker Studios homebase in Austin, Texas yesterday. The followup (which will be released in 3D) is based partially on Miller's 'A Dame to Kill For' story, which overlaps with the events of 'The Hard Goodbye' but takes place prior to 'The Big Fat Kill' (the first and second sections of the Sin City movie), thus allowing Mickey Rourke to return as the deranged bruiser Marv, alongside familiar faces such as Rosario Dawson and Jaime King (who plays the twins Goldie and Wendy).
Jessica Alba is reprising her role as Nancy Callahan in a separate storyline that is meant to bridge the gap between 'That Yellow Bastard' (the Bruce Willis sections of Sin City) and the other stories, based on brand-new script material cooked up by Miller. Meanwhile, Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch, The Man with the Iron Fists) is replacing Devon Aoki as the silent, roller-blading, sword-wielding Miho, who plays a more significant role in A Dame to Kill For (side note: it seems a replacement has yet to be found for the late Michael Clarke Duncan, who portrayed Manute in the first movie).
However, Rodriguez (who recently wrapped up Machete Kills) has yet to fill some major roles in the Sin City sequel. For starters, the protagonist of A Dame to Kill For is Dwight - that is, before he underwent facial reconstruction to become Clive Owen in 'The Big Fat Kill'. Heat Vision's sources have indicated that Owen "is understood to be returning," but that another actor needs to be cast to tackle the (literally) fresher-faced version of the Dwight character (before Owen re-assumes the role for that segment's conclusion).
Here is a description of Miller's original A Dame to Kill For story:
Stuck with nothing but a seedy gumshoe job and some demons, Dwight's thinking of all the ways he's screwed up and what he'd give for one clear chance to wipe the slate clean, to dig his way out of the numb gray hell that is his life. And he'd give anything. Just to feel the fire. One more time. But he can't let himself lose control again, can't ever let the monster out. And then Ava calls.
The role of the eponymous 'Dame' (the aforementioned femme fatale Ava) also remains open. That part was originally designed with Angelina Jolie in mind, but that's not going to happen (if only because the Oscar-winner is currently working on Disney's Maleficent). Rodriguez once described Ava as "a great part for any actress... [Ava's] as evil as evil gets," with the implication that a big-name will be bringing the treacherous villain to life (who that could be, remains to be seen).
'The Big Fat Kill' featured explicit references to the characters and events in 'A Dame to Kill For,' which explores the complicated history between Dwight and the ladies of Old Town (which include Chung and Dawson). Hence, Sin City 2 is in a position similar to that of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in the sense that it's more of a semi-prequel to the first film (as opposed to a 'legitimate' sequel). Whether or not such back-tracking will satisfy fans after eight years of waiting, as mentioned before, is anyone's guess at this point.
Miller is reported to have done the majority of grunt-work on the Sin City 2 script, tying all the dangling narrative threads from the first film together with those in the sequel (while recapturing the spirit of his original graphic novels). However, he did receive assistance from Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed), which is comforting news for those out there who no longer have a lot of confidence in Miller's abilities to craft a coherent and captivating yarn.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is scheduled to open in theaters on October 4th, 2013. We will keep you updated on casting for the film as more information comes our way.