I saw Sicario: Day of the Soldado a few weeks ago and - while I'm embargoed from giving you a full reaction (but don't worry, the review's already in the can and waiting for y'all come release) - I certainly can tell you it's very good, but has some serious third act issues (mainly involving characters, well, acting out of character). No spoilers, but while watching it, I wondered if these flaws arose from new studio Sony (who took the sequel over from Lionsgate) mandating that they wanted Stefano Sollima's movie to be left open-ended for a certain level of "franchising".
Well, turns out, I wasn't too far off, though it doesn't sound like Sony's to blame. In a chat with CinemaBlend, producer Trent Luckinbill revealed that discussions have already commenced regarding bringing Emily Blunt back into the fold to appear in a potential third Sicario movie:
“I think Taylor [Sheridan] certainly has some ideas about all of that, but we’re open to that world and certainly would love to bring Emily back. We haven’t written the script yet, but yeah it would make a lot of sense. We’re all fans of the movie, we’ve all come to the same conclusion, which is ‘It would be great to see her again.’ So I think we’re striking up those conversations now.”
Would it make sense though, Trent? For those curious, Day of the Soldado very much belongs to dirty CIA operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and lawyer turned vengeful assassin Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) as they wage a new covert war against the cartels in Mexico City. It's a cold, unfeeling look at the way these bag men are able to stir up chaos to their own advantage, punctuated by some rather upsetting graphic violence. In short, it's catnip for weirdo pulp fetishists like me.
Emily Blunt's Kate Mercer is nowhere to be found in Day of the Soldado because, well, she's not really necessary to this narrative anymore. In Denis Villeneuve's drug war horror masterwork, she was essentially an audience identification character; a pawn utilized by Graver so that he could achieve his current endgame. Why we'd need her to return is lost on this writer (as we're now familiar with this violent underworld, which is further explored in Soldado). Even screenwriter Taylor Sheridan told The Wrap back in 2016 that Mercer wasn't coming back because:
“Her arc was complete [and] I couldn’t figure out a way to write a character that would do her talent justice. What do you do next? She moves to some little town and becomes a sheriff and then gets kidnapped and then we have Taken? I had to tell the story that was true to this role, and I didn’t feel like I could create something with that character that would further that world that would do Emily’s character justice.”
Obviously, this is all just talk at this point, as no script has been written, nor has Sony greenlit any follow-up to Day of the Soldado as of yet. To be honest, I'd be shocked if a third film ends up happening, despite the set up at the sequel's climax. Sicario never really screamed out for a second chapter, and the marketing is selling a trash action mayhem fest that this movie simply isn't. Furthermore, I'd be shocked if Day of the Soldado ends up becoming a hit, as it's probably too icy, amoral, and mean spirited to land with a mainstream crowd and cost reportedly double what the original did (though stranger things have happened!).
Though if they were to continue spinning these black ops procedurals into recurring pulp tales, I certainly wouldn't complain. To be continued...maybe...