Last year, one of the biggest surprise sleeper hits was Denis Villeneuveâ€™s crime-thriller Sicario, starring Emily Blunt as an FBI agent who teams with Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro to fight the Mexican drug cartels, before learning her teammates may be almost as corrupt as those theyâ€™re chasing.
The movie ended up grossing $47 million domestically and $37 million overseas, and it received 3 Oscar nominations including one for Johann Johannsson (who we just happen to have an interview with next week). It proved successful enough that the producers decided to pursue a sequel featuring Brolin and Del Toroâ€™s characters. The film, titled Soldado (or â€œSoldierâ€), is currently filming for a release sometime in 2017.
While talking with the filmâ€™s screenwriter Taylor Sheridan about Hell or High Water, the modern day Western starring Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster, which hit DVD and BluRay last week, LRM asked him about Soldado, for which he also wrote the script.
â€œWe decided to do a sequel to this, literally before the movie came out,â€ he told us. â€œIt was in early post. When Trent (Luckinbill) and Molly (Smith), the financiers and producers on it, when they asked me, â€˜Hey, we love these characters so much. Is there anything you could do to continue exploring them?â€™ and I said, â€˜Yeah, Iâ€™d love to. Hereâ€™s what I would do. I had thought about it beforeâ€™ and they said, â€˜Thatâ€™s great, letâ€™s do that.â€™ And that was the end of the conversation. I told them at that point, â€˜You gotta just let me run off and do it. I donâ€™t want to have a bunch of development meetings. Once Iâ€™m done, you can change it all you want, but let me just go do it.â€™â€
â€œThe thing about the sequel to Sicario,â€ he continued. â€œTragically, the issues that are discussed in the first one still exist. Thereâ€™s still a landscape to explore. Our method of policing along the border, issues that take place on the border, obviously itâ€™s a subject on the forefront of everyoneâ€™s mind politically during the election. It warrant further exploration, and the characters of Alejandro and Matt are excellent vehicles to do that.â€
Sheridan felt like there was a lot more that could be done with the characters.
â€œThe interesting thing about these characters from a structural standpoint with respect to Matt and Alejandro–Iâ€™m sure someone else has done it–but they donâ€™t arc. Thereâ€™s no arc to the characters. Theyâ€™re no different at the end of the film than the beginning. Theyâ€™re a constant, they represent a constant, and therefore, theyâ€™re as great a mystery at the end as they are at the beginning, which is by design. The more you learn about them, the less you understand them. You think theyâ€™re this one thing, and then they turn out to be something different. The characters themselves just lend themselves to being explored more.â€
Sheridan is currently finishing up his directorial debut Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner, Jon Bernthal and Elizabeth Olsen, and weâ€™ll have more on that and Hell or Holy Water in the full interview that will run soon.