Denis Villeneuve's Sicario is the kind of movie for grown-ups we don't see a lot of these days. And when we do see them, they're sadly not often hits. Sicario was a big success, though, with an impressive per-screen average in its limited opening, the sort of performance deserved by a thriller with mostly positive reviews (a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes). And it went on to earn three Oscar nominations.
It has also earned a sequel, something that's even rarer lately for adult-targeting dramas, even if they contain a good deal of action. We can be sure today's news on the follow-up is not an April Fools' Day joke because this isn't the first we've heard about a possible Sicario 2. Development on this was first announced last September, right after the release of the original.
So what is the update, if there is one? It's mostly just that, an update, via The Hollywood Reporter's new interview with producers Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill, all of Black Label Media. It's in "full development," there's a full draft of a scrip by the original's writer, Tyler Sheridan, and "everybody is on board." Meaning everybody in the cast.
Last fall the focus of the sequel was said to be on Benicio del Toro's character. That may still be true, but this is confimation that it's not just a spin-off and Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin will also be back. And Villeneuve is involved in some capacity, though it's still unsure if he'll direct. He's got another bigger sequel, Blade Runner 2, on his plate right now.
Here's the most that Trent Luckinbill could say on what we can expect:
Taylor's a really great world-builder. He's got that kind of modern Western voice, which is in vogue right now. And he did it again [with the sequel]. It's a great big world. We can't reveal the plot, but you'll see [Blunt, Del Toro and Brolin] all come back. You have such a great character with Benicio, who was as dark as he was and still so loved. That character resonates so well with audiences. People want to know what happened to him, so it's a perfect foray for us to explore. Obviously we would love it if Denis could [direct]. He's a busy man, but he's certainly part of the process with us right now.
Obviously there's no release date to speak of yet, but if (hopefully) they get Villeneuve at the helm again, we could probably see this thing hitting theaters by the end of the decade. If sooner with another strong director and the essential return of cinematographer Roger Deakins (who received his 13th Oscar bid with the first movie), that would be okay, too. Just give us more smart, mature movies!