Sicario opened strongly in limited release this past weekend, breaking records for its per-screen average in just six theaters. Canadian Denis Villeneuve (whose 2010 French-language Incendies received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film) directed from a screenplay by actor Taylor Sheridan (TV’s Sons of Anarchy). Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) stars as an idealistic FBI agent recruited to aid in the escalating war on drugs at the U.S.-Mexico border and through her experiences begins to question her beliefs. Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (Traffic) co-stars as a mysterious hitman.
Villeneuve is involved in the development of the sequel, although it is not certain if he will return to direct. Sheridan is overseeing the project, which will center on Del Toro’s character. Patrick Wachsberger, co-chair of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture group, justified his reasoning behind a sequel, by stating, “Before the release of this movie, I was talking to Denis and I said what happened to this character? Where is Benicio going?”
Critical reviews and audience response alike have been very positive. Bolstering the awards buzz already surrounding the movie, Lionsgate is planning an Oscar campaign, according to Wachsberger. “This movie has multiple Oscar potential — best movie, best director, best cinematography (Oscar-nominated Roger Deakins), best music (Oscar-nominated composer Jóhann Jóhannsson), and, of course, the actors,” he said. “All of the characters feel real.” Wachsberger in particular praised Blunt, saying “She is totally credible. You end the movie wondering what’s going to happen? What happens to her character? Is she becoming a wolf?”
Sicario expands next weekend to approximately 65 locations in 11 cities. It goes in wide release on October 2nd.