Photo: Sony Pictures

Sicario: Day Of The Soldado is shameless fear-mongering about our southern border, but apparently it’s pretty successful fear-mongering. The film has grossed $23 million in its first five days of release in North America alone, on a relatively lean $35 million budget. Another sequel seems likely—but not with this director.

In an interview with Variety, Sicario 2 helmer Stefano Sollima confirms that he won’t be returning to what is now shaping up to be a potential franchise. Given both the producers and writer Taylor Sheridan have said they planned a trilogy, why would Sollima walk away from what would probably be a guaranteed paycheck, thanks to the modest commercial success of his feature-film debut?

Every movie in these series needs to be a standalone that stays in the same world. I’d love to watch another chapter of Sicario, but it should be from a different director who has their own specific style. You shouldn’t have more than one film from the same director. Then it would be too much like a real franchise.

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Questions of why a film series wouldn’t want to be a “real” franchise aside, this is basically the Mission: Impossible model—until Tom Cruise brought Christopher McQuarrie back for Mission: Impossible—Fallout, that is—albeit with its two lead characters transformed into generic antiheroes for Day of The Soldado. (As our own Ignatiy Vishnevetsky noted, the film “feels less like a sequel and more like a weak couple of mid-season episodes from Sicario: The Series.”) Sollima doesn’t say what the story for the next one would be, but in an earlier interview with The Independent, he said Soldado is “much more cinematic than Sicario was,” which is a bonkers quote we’re going to chalk up to Sollima getting his meaning lost in translation.