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Benicio del Toro on Making ‘Sicario 2: Soldado’ Without Denis Villeneuve and Emily Blunt

Villeneuve, Blunt, and cinematographer Roger Deakins are all not involved in the upcoming "Sicario" sequel, but del Toro says fans shouldn't worry.

"Sicario"

“Sicario”

Columbia Pictures has released the first trailer for “Sicario 2: Soldado,” and while the upcoming sequel is once again written by Taylor Sheridan and finds Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin reprising their roles from the original, it is missing three very important people integral to “Sicario’s” success: Director Denis Villeneuve, star Emily Blunt, and cinematographer Roger Deakins. But del Toro is here to tell fans not to worry. There may be new blood behind the scenes of “Soldado,” but the sequel remains true to the visceral intensity of “Sicario.”

Replacing Villeneuve in the director’s chair is Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, best known for directing the “Gomorrah” television series. Del Toro says Sollima brings more of a “European sensibility” to the sequel than Villeneuve did on the original, but he didn’t respect one director more than another.

“I had a good time working with both of them, it was just, like, much respect for both of them,” del Toro tells Entertainment Weekly. “I think that Stefano had to come in a little bit like, you know, where Josh and myself, we have played these characters before, so he had to deal a little bit with that, and I think he did a really good job of allowing both Josh and myself to put ourselves on the table about the characters and how they would react in situations and all that stuff, so it was very inclusive that way.”

According to del Toro, Sollima did an expert job at recapturing the Villeneuve-inspired tone that made “Sicario” such a critical and commercial hit. The actor calls the two directors equally talented, so the sequel isn’t missing too much of a void in the director’s chair. Just how the original made Villeneuve more of a hot commodity in Hollywood, del Toro feels the up-and-coming Sollima will also become one to watch when “Soldado” debuts in theaters.

As far Emily Blunt, who played the main character in “Sicario,” screenwriter Sheridan previously explained that she is not involved in the sequel because he felt her character’s arc was completed in the first film. Blunt’s protagonist served as a stand-in for the audience to the world of the drug trade, and del Toro assures fans that “Soldado” will also have this element in the form of a new character played by Isabelle Moner.

When asked where the human factor will come into play in “Soldado,” del Toro responded, “I think it comes from the character of Isabelle, which is played by Isabella Moner. She’s terrific in the movie, very strong, and I think that that’s part that’s gonna ‘replace,’ if we could even say that, that feeling that we had for Emily Blunt’s character, Kate, in “Sicario.'”

“Sicario 2: Soldado” finds del Toro’s Alejandro being recruited for another job by Brolin’s CIA agent Matt Graver. The two men are tasked with eliminating a drug cartel smuggling terrorists from Mexico into the United States. The sequel opens in theaters June 29.

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