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Director Denis Villeneuve's Sicario only opened in six theaters nationwide last weekend, but it's already being deemed a major success by Lionsgate. How major? It turns out that the studio has already given the greenlight to develop a sequel that will follow the character in the movie played by Benicio Del Toro.
Variety has the scoop on this news, reporting that Lionsgate has already hired actor-turned-writer Taylor Sheridan to work on a script for what we'll just call Sicario 2. Meanwhile, Denis Villeneuve is attached, but is not yet committed to returning to the director's chair. There are very few specific details regarding what the movie will be about, but the central focus of the story will turn to be about Del Toro's mysterious character, Alejandro. It's not even clear if the sequel will be a follow-up or a prequel, as Patrick Wachsberger, co-chair of Liongate's motion picture group, was quoted by the trade saying,
Before the release of this movie, I was talking to Denis [Villeneuve] and I said, 'What happened to this character? Where is Benicio going?'
Most people haven't had the opportunity to see Sicario just yet, given the extremely limited release it had this past weekend, but those who live around the aforementioned six theaters apparently came out to see it in droves. By the time Sunday was over, the film had managed to pull in $401,288. That translates to $66,881 per screen, and that figure is actually high enough to be considered the biggest of 2015 so far.
In Sicario, Emily Blunt stars as Kate Macer, an FBI agent who is enlisted into a secretive government task force taking action in the drug war that is currently active on the border between the United States and Mexico. Benicio Del Toro's Alejandro is a shadowy and secretive character who is introduced as part of the task force, but is clearly playing by a different set of rules than everyone else.
If this early word of a sequel and positive buzz from critics is making you itch to see Sicario, then I sadly have to deliver some bad news: it's probably still going to be a little while before it gets to a theater near you. Lionsgate is proceeding with plans to give the movie a slow roll out, with plans to expand distribution to 11 cities and 65 locations next weekend. It will be going wide on October 2nd, where it will be doing head-to-head battle with Ridley Scott's The Martian (another film picking up hefty Academy Award buzz).
I personally don't love that Sicario 2 will focus on Benicio Del Toro's character, if not only reinforces the biggest issue with its predecessor: the narrative leaving Emily Blunt's character in the dust with no real agency in the story. Hopefully the sequel winds up finding a way to rectify this problem