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Sicario was a critical and commercial success, and whenever that happens it means that a sequel is a strong possibility. However, it turns out that the in-development Sicario 2 won't be your standard sequel. According to the director of the new film, Stefano Solima, the follow-up, titled Soldado, will not continue the story of the first film. Instead, it will simply be another chapter in the lives of a couple of the same characters.
It's a nuanced difference, to be sure, but one that Stefano Solima appears to take seriously. Speaking with the UK's Independent, the filmmaker doesn't even really call Soldado a follow-up, and instead reveals that audiences really won't have to remember exactly what went down in Sicario to understand what's happening in his movie. Said the director,
It's not a real sequel. It's absolutely a standalone movie -- a completely different story with just two of the characters that you met in Sicario. The reason that I love [Soldado] is because it's not exactly a sequel; it's something you can catch and enjoy even if you haven't watched the first one.
The key here seems to be the idea that anybody that didn't see Sicario will be able to drop into Soldado without a problem, and that none of the events of Sicario will have any impact on the plot in the new movie. Instead, it's just another story, which happens to include the characters that Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin previously portrayed. Sicario's other major star, Emily Blunt, will not be back, as with the focus of the follow-up shifting to other characters, there was likely no reason to bring her back. Leaving her out is probably the key thing that will actually allow Soldado to move on to an entirely new story that won't need to reference the original.
In a Hollywood that becomes increasingly franchise focused, this seems to be the best of both worlds. Soldado will be part of an established brand that movie fans will know, yet there's the possibility that it may have an easier time than most sequels bringing in new viewers, as long as they are made aware they don't need to have seen the first film. There is a lot of confidence that this structure will work, as plans are apparently already in motion to make a third movie after Soldado, which is also being referred to as a "standalone" film. What we can't say now is whether or not the third title will once again target new characters as the protagonists, or if Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and/or Emily Blunt will be involved.
What do you think of this idea for the sequel to Sicario? Is separating the sequel from the original's story the right wait to continue the franchise? Let us know what you think in the comments.