Well, I guess that settles it. Much like James guessed when he recently wrote about the news that Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario was getting an unexpected sequel not featuring Emily Blunt’s lead character, this new film will in fact not be a direct continuation of the story told in the 2015 masterpiece crime-thriller. We knew that Soldado (which means “soldier” in Spanish, like Sicario meant “hitman”) would see the focus shifting to Josh Brolin’s shady government agent and Benicio Del Toro’s even shadier assassin/killer/whatever-the-hell-he-was.
And speaking to The Independent (via The Playlist), director Stefano Sollima – who has some gigantic shoes to fill while Villeneuve is off making a Blade Runner sequel – was pretty clear on how this movie will play out now .
“It’s not a real sequel. It’s absolutely a standalone movie – a completely different story with just two of the characters that you met in Sicario. The reason that I love [Soldado] is because it’s not exactly a sequel; it’s something you can catch and enjoy even if you haven’t watched the first one.”
And chances are that if you miss this movie, it probably won’t be too big a deal either when you watch the third. Yes, the third, as Sollima explains that the plans are for this to become a franchise of sorts that just exists within the same movie universe but with their own independent arcs.
“The idea is to make three anthology movies with some of the core actors and [set] in the same world.”
I have to admit, if anybody had ever asked me to pick a movie from last year that I would guess to be the most likely to kick off a franchise, Sicario would be so far down the list that it would be dragging on the ground. What Villenueve created in that movie was this intense two-hour mind-trip into a grimy world of crime that had a definite beginning, middle and end. Yes, there was some further backstory hinted at for Del Toro’s character, but not knowing what that was was one of the most compelling aspects about him.
And besides, Villeneuve and Oscar-nominated cinematographer crafted such an incredible piece of art that following in their footsteps would be ridiculously daunting. But apparently Sollima is not afraid to rise up to the challenge because he has… action scenes?
“I loved Sicario. I feel the movie was quite similar to my approach so, to me, I’m just shooting another movie. Soldado will be much more cinematic than Sicario was; it’s got an incredible amount of huge action sequences in there. It will be a different journey in the same world. Even the theme is different – it’s not drug dealing, it’s more on immigration.”
Look, Sicario had some great action beats, but it was the potboiler situations, the tense slow crawl down the rabbit hole – combined with Deakins’ phenomenal lensing – that really made that movie. This is not a Die Hard flick we’re talking about here. Of course, I am being a tad bit unfairly judgmental seeing as not a scrap of footage for Soldado even exists yet, but I can’t but feel that this is losing its way a bit. What do you guys think?
Last Updated: June 17, 2016