From the moment Lionsgate confirmed that it was developing a sequel to Denis Villeneuveā€™s 2015 drug war thriller Sicario, the studio has been adamant that itā€™s not just doing the first movie a second time. For starters, Emily Bluntā€™s character wonā€™t be returning, and the plot focuses on Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toroā€™s characters instead. Also, Italian director Stefano Sollima is replacing Villeneuve, and heā€™s claimed that it will be ā€œabsolutely a standalone movieā€ that just happens to feature some of the same characters and take place in the same world.

Now, in a recent interview with Collider, producer Basil Iwanyk has underlined just how standalone it is. Apparently, the filmā€”titled Soldadoā€”will be so disconnected from the events of Sicario that viewers will ā€œhave no idea if itā€™s before or afterā€ the events of that movie. It could be a sequel or it could be a prequel, but weā€™ll never know because ā€œthere is no reference at all to the first Sicario.ā€ Apparently, the idea was to recapture the appeal of the first movie without alienating anyone who didnā€™t see it, while also telling a new story that expands on its world.


As for how it will be doing that, Collider notes that itā€™s moving from drugs to the prickly topic of immigration, and Iwanyk says that ā€œpeople are going to be shocked by how relevant the movie is.ā€ He specifically references ā€œour new presidentā€ and ā€œwhatā€™s going on politically,ā€ so it seems pretty safe to say that Soldado is going to be a fairly timely story.