Turns out the production team behind “Sicario” enjoyed its time in New Mexico so much that it’s bringing the sequel back to the Land of Enchantment.
The New Mexico Film Office announced that “Soldado,” is starting production in the state through January.
Filming locations include Albuquerque, To’hajiilee, Laguna Pueblo, Bernalillo and Algodones. Production will be completed in Mexico.
Nick Maniatis, Film Office director, said it’s great that production companies are bringing repeat business to the state.
“It really says something when a company like Black Label Media does two projects in a row in New Mexico, has a great experience, and immediately brings in another one with a fourth on the way,” he said. “You know you’re doing something right when that happens. And we really appreciate a company like Black Label and their commitment to New Mexico.”
“Soldado” finds Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro reprising his role as the inscrutable attorney-turned-assassin Alejandro, paired on screen with Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, who returns as the pragmatic CIA operative Matt Graver. Joining the cast is Oscar nominee Catherine Keener, who will portray Graver’s boss.
Stefano Sollima will direct from an original script by Taylor Sheridan, who also wrote the New Mexico-filmed “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water.”
“Soldado” follows the character of Alejandro, played by Del Toro as he makes a deadly alliance with Matt, played by Brolin, to take on the new crown jewel of Mexico’s cartels: human trafficking.
According to the film office, the production will employ about 200 New Mexico crew members, 70 New Mexico actors and stunt performers, and 1,500 New Mexico background talent. Background talent will include military and Hispanic men, women and children of all ages. Individuals wishing to be cast as background talent should upload a photo and contact information at egcasting.com or email a photo with height, weight, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benicio del Toro is currently in talks to star in the upcoming Predator reboot that Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) will be directing for 20th Century Fox.
The movie will be produced by John Davis, Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon.
There’s no plot details yet but it’ll apparently be an ensemble piece with Benicio as the lead and filming should start in February 2017.
For a reminder, Predator was a 1987 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger:
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.
Surely one of the most unlikely films to spawn a sequel in recent memory was Denis Villeneuve’s carefully crafted 2015 thriller Sicario. The film is an unflinching look at how America responds to violence abroad and our foreign policy at large, all told through the lens of an operation targeting Mexican drug cartels. It’s one of the best films of 2015, with tremendous performances by Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, but a franchise? That seems an odd fit.
And yet, shortly before Sicario’s release, we learned that Lionsgate was developing a follow-up with the original film’s writer Taylor Sheridan. The studio subsequently set Gomorrah director Stefano Sollima to take the helm, and while Blunt isn’t returning, Del Toro’s character now takes center stage with Brolin also set to appear.
Production on Sicario 2 is set to get underway shortly (with Sicario 3 already in the works as well), and Collider’s own Tommy Cook recently got the chance to speak with Sheridan about the film at an event for the Western-tinged crime drama Hell or High Water, which Sheridan wrote. The screenwriter revealed that Sicario 2 doubles down on the hardened aspects of the first film:
“Lionsgate understood that they bought something that was a spec [on the first film]. So there was a certain amount of latitude they had to give me [on the sequel]. What usually would be a long meeting about what’s this character about, what’s his arc—we didn’t have that. They trusted me to just go do it, and with Sicario, which I’m really proud of, it really approaches some difficult subjects. I didn’t want to demean that with the second one. So I really wrote something I double dared them to actually make. Ten times more unsentimental, more vicious and really reflective… It’s funny a lot of people think Sicario‘s about the drug war and the cartels. It’s not. It’s a movie about American policy and the way that we police and [Sicario 2] is that on steroids.”
Do you prefer beer in a glass or in a bottle? “Bottle. Just because it’s more convenient. It’s a straight line from the bottle to me. There are no pit stops. No changing of planes.”
What is your ideal beer temperature? “Cold. I can drink coffee if it’s room temperature, but beer’s got to be cold.”
Do you believe in the old adage of beer before liquor? “I believe in not mixing. When you start mixing, you’re walking yourself to a headache.”
What is your personal hangover cure? “Those days are gone for me. But perhaps the one thing that worked was drinking water. There might be moments that you celebrate something and you’re with friends and you might go a little bit past that line— those [times] are fun. I live in L.A., too, where you have to drive, so you got to be very conscientious about that. There are limits.”
Is your home set up for easy entertaining? “I got a fridge and a living room.”
Are your friends like mine and insist on hanging out in the kitchen? “Always the kitchen. I spent time with Hunter S. Thompson, the writer, and his office was in the kitchen and it was because of that. Everybody hangs out by the kitchen, so he made his office [there]. Really smart.”
Did you learn anything else while drinking with him? “Ice. It was important to have ice. If he ordered a drink or a beer or whatever, he ordered a bucket of ice. He kept everything cold. His glasses would be filled with ice.”
Do you have ice at home? “I do have some ice. If you come to my house and you need some ice I can provide it—[but] probably not as much as Hunter could provide.”
Spending time with him must have been amazing. “Not necessarily because of the drinking, but as a writer, as an artist…His generation. What he lived through. The way he retained everything, politics. He was quite a person. He would sit down and listen.”
How much time did you get with him? “I spent as much time as I could. Getting to know him, I drove him a little nuts. Picking his brain to understand the character [of Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas] I was playing. Both Johnny [Depp] and I spent a lot of time hanging from his coattails, so to speak.”
Is it ever appropriate to drink shots? “It all depends who’s your company. Depends how your day went. Depends what tomorrow will bring. If I drink, I don’t like to leave reality. When I was younger, I would leave reality completely. By that I mean like you’re upside down. I can enjoy a drink with limits and there is a true art to that. A little bit is good and makes me feel good and not lose control—or be upside down.”
When did you first try alcohol? “The first time I tried alcohol was from my uncle. I must have been a kid and he gave it to me to taste. And I didn’t like it. It was beer. I don’t remember what beer. I would like to say it was in a green bottle. But I don’t remember.”
Cameras started rolling on Star Wars: Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, at the beginning of this year. More than five months later and after a pitstop at Star Wars Celebration Europe, it’s a wrap on the next chapter of the sci-fi saga.
Johnson posted a gif of “the final slate of the final shot” announcing the end of production, writing, “VIII is officially wrapped. Cannot wait to share it with you all!”
As we learned from the filmmaker during Celebration, Episode VIII will pick up where The Force Awakens left off. Rey (Daisy Ridley) was seen standing before Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), ready to start her Jedi training after helping to deal an explosive blow to The First Order.
John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Dohmnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, and Carrie Fisher return for Episode VIII, alongside franchise newcomers like Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.
“It was an incredible experience on many different levels,” Johnson said at Celebration. “You come into it with nostalgic feelings, but your job is to get beyond that very quickly.”
And now we wait. Star Wars: Episode VIII will hit theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.
— Star Wars (@starwars) July 22, 2016