The Sicario Sequel Moving Forward Without One Of Its Stars

We learned last September that the action-thriller Sicario will soon be getting a sequel, and it’s bringing back some key players. The story is set to focus on the character played by Benicio Del Toro in the first movie, and it’s also been said that Josh Brolin will be returning to reprise his part as CIA agent Matt Graver. As confirmed by a new report, however, one headliner who will not be returning for more action on the Mexican border will be Emily Blunt – the lead of director Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 film.

The Hollywood Reporter has published the latest developments of Sicario 2, which will be titled Soldado, and in addition to revealing that Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima is now in talks to helm the project, the trade also notes that Emily Blunt will not be one of the actors returning from the first movie. We always knew that the follow-up was going to change the point of perspective to Benicio Del Toro’s character – the stoic and mysterious Alejandro – but it seems that there will be no room for Blunt’s inquisitive FBI agent Kate Macer.

When you think about how Sicario ultimately played out, it’s actually not a huge surprise that Emily Blunt wouldn’t return for Soldado (even if it is still extremely unfortunate). While Kate Macer was the lead of the disturbing thriller for about three-quarters of the story, one of the biggest issues that I actually had with Sicario was the fact that the end of the movie essentially abandons her to instead follow Alejandro as he executes his personal mission on the other side of the border. Benicio Del Toro basically took the lead role of the movie away from Blunt at the end of the movie, and now it seems the filmmakers are taking that idea a step further with the sequel.

There was hope that Denis Villeneuve would be back to take the helm of Soldado, but it seems that the filmmaker was too busy to fit it on to his schedule (he is currently hard at work developing Blade Runner 2). For a while it looked like the directing gig would fall to up-and-comer Jeremy Saulnier - who just earned strong reviews for his thriller Green Room - but he also couldn’t make the movie work. As a result, Lionsgate is turning their attention towards Stefano Sollima, who has spent his entire career in Italy and is actually best known for his television work.

While Emily Blunt won't be starring in Sicario 2, the good news is that she's still one of the industry's most popular actresses, and as such has plenty of projects on the horizon. We just recently saw her in theaters as a key player in The Huntsman: Winter's War, and she will soon be found in the adaptation of the acclaimed novel The Girl On The Train. She also has three voice roles set up over the next few years - Animal Crackers, My Little Pony: The Movie and Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes - and she has signed on to star in Disney’s Mary Poppins sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.