2015's Sicario boasted an impressive cast, and leading the charge was Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer. So when it was announced that Blunt wouldn't return for Sicario 2, now officially titled Soldado, in favor of focusing on Benecio del Toro's character, Alejandro Gillick, some eyebrows raised. Now screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has explained why Blunt won't be back for the sequel: because there was nothing left to tell in her story.
Look what she went through. It was a difficult role. Here I write this lead character and then I use her as a surrogate for the audience. I make her completely passive against her own will so the audience feels the same impotence that a lot of law enforcement officers feel, I drag her through hell, and betray her in the end. It was an arduous journey for the character, and for Emily. That character had arc.
For those who need a refresher (spoilers ahead), Sicario ended with Kate Macer learning that Alejandro Gallic had been discreetly hired by the U.S. government to assassinate drug lord Fausto Alarcón. Alejandro was successful with this mission, though he also killed Alarcón's wife and children as a way to exact vengeance for the death of his own family at the hands of the Sonora drug cartel. The next morning, Alejandro broke into Kate's apartment and forced her at gunpoint to sign a waiver that would legitimize everything that happened. She agreed, but as Alejandro left, she pointed her gun at him, though decided not to pull the trigger.
With Kate Macer's faith in the U.S. law enforcement agencies shattered, that concluded her story. Taylor Sheridan later joked about how he could have written Kate into the sequel as the sheriff of a small town who is kidnapped Taken-style, but then reiterated that he couldn't find an effective way to include her in Soldado. However, he did imply there might be a way to use Emily Blunt "somewhere else down the road." Sicario 3, anyone?
Along with Benecio del Toro returning for Soldado, Josh Brolin will reprise his role as CIA officer Matt Graver, and Catherine Keener has been added in an undisclosed role. No plot details have been revealed yet, but the sequel has been described as more of a "standalone" story rather than a direct follow-up. Denis Villeneuve opted not to return for Soldado, with directing duties being passed on to Stefano Sollima.
Soldado is aiming to hit theaters sometime in 2017, but we'll keep you apprised on a concrete date and any other updates regarding the sequel as more news comes in.