Nothing says "franchise" like this shot from Sicario

Following the Death Wish principle that all movies—even the self-contained and overtly depressing ones—will become franchises if they pique audience interest the first time around, the horrifying drug-war drama Sicario will be part of a trilogy, according to the director of its sequel.

In an interview with The Independent, Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, helmer of Soldado, said, “The idea is to make three anthology movies with some of the core actors and [set] in the same world.” He supported this idea by explaining that Soldado isn’t a conventional 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 … even if you haven’t watched the first one.

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According to Sollima, Soldado even tackles different subject matter: This time around, the head shots and skinned bodies will be the result of an immigration conflict, rather than the drug war. He added that, in the Soldado screenplay by returning writer Taylor Sheridan, “the antagonists [Benecio del Toro’s hit man Alejandro Gillick and Josh Brolin’s CIA officer Matt Graves] are now absolutely the main characters.”

The Independent notes that Sollima suggested Emily Blunt’s character from the first film was never intended to reappear in the sequel. But if we know sequels (and we do), she could absolutely Dr. Grant her way into Sicario 3, which probably will be titled something like Mercenario (“mercenary”), Carnicero (“butcher”), or just La Persona Triste (“the sad person”).