The pulsating and engaging action thriller Sicario might not have set records at the box office in 2015, but it well and truly left a lasting impact for those that saw it. Sitting on a 94% fresh rating with Rotten Tomatoes, the drama brought aboard Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro for an installment that delved into the dark and volatile conflict between FBI agents and Mexican drug cartels.
With a sequel Soldado already slated for production, screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has told Collider that the follow up will be anything but PG-13. In fact, he argues his new creation will make the first title come across as a date movie.
Out of the Lionsgate Den: Sicario 2 Going to the Extreme
Sitting down to discuss his role in 2017's Wind River starring Jeremy Renner, it would be Soldado where the discussion would turn next. From what Sheridan can recall, Lionsgate were left to look a little sheepish as they left full creative control on the screenplay in his trusted hands.
"When I told them I would write it, 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***. 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."
First Film Could Spawn an Unintended Franchise
Seeing the feature branch out into a sequel, where does Sheridan see the Sicario world going from here?
"I would like there to be one more to complete that so all of a sudden I don't know what geometric shape you'd call this that you have a trilogy kicking off from a trilogy, and this one not being thematic, this one being actual, you know, it's a really unique opportunity to capitalize on something purely creatively. You know what I mean? It's a really bizarre thing to franchise, if that's the right word, which I don't think it is."
Developed on a modest budget by Hollywood blockbuster standards of $85m, Sheridan thinks the grounded, gritty filmmaking can provide the perfect platform to expand into different territory.
"You know, Sicario was successful but it was successful because (director) Denis (Villeneuve) and the producers were, you know, they were very lean. It was very lean filmmaking. And so it didn't, by comparison to films that look like that, didn't cost very much money and so likewise with the sequel, that didn't cost much more which allows us to stay really true as opposed to trying to reach a broader audience, make a richer experience for that audience and hopefully bring in more but that's not necessarily the goal. The goal is to continue down this story, you know."