The 2015 crime drama Sicario was one of the best films of that year and earned extremely high praise, but it wasn’t exactly a movie that was screaming for a sequel. And yet, writer Taylor Sheridan—who also wrote Hell or High Water and wrote and directed this year’s Wind River—penned a script for a sequel called Soldado, and pretty quickly Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro assembled for the follow-up. Director Denis Villeneuve moved on to directing films like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, but in his stead Stefano Sollima (Gomorrah) stepped in to direct.
We still don’t know too much about Soldado, but when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Brolin in anticipation of the release of Only the Brave, he asked the actor how Soldado turned out. Brolin was candid about his initial reaction, but he has high praise for the finished product:
“You know what? That movie, honestly, I’ll just tell you really quick, when I first saw it I was like, ‘Okay, it’s a good movie and I think we need to trim some things. We need to do this, and this, and that to it.’ Everybody else had their notes and then when they saw the final cut it’s a really good movie. I’m really excited about it. I was actually surprised at how good it turned out.”
Although Brolin is also quick to point out he initially wasn’t sure how Sicario would turn out either:
“When I saw [Sicario], I said, ‘This is a really fucking good movie.’ When I finished the movie, I thought it was going to be OK. I had seen Denis’s movies. I knew he was a great director, but not everybody’s perfect and not everybody can put a good movie together no matter what their intentions are, but when I saw Sicario I didn’t know what happened. I was like, ‘I know we accomplished a good movie, but why don’t I remember this?’
I kind of felt the same way [with Soldado], and maybe that all stems from Taylor Sheridan’s writing and the fact that you can only fuck up his scripts to a certain extent, but it’s still going to be a good movie because maybe it does all start with the script. When you have an OK script you’re constantly manipulating it to make it sound decent, is one thing. When you have a great script and you’re just trying to do justice to it, maybe that’s something else, and I think that’s what we experienced with him.”
In terms of how Soldado compares to Sicario, Brolin echoed earlier statements by Sheridan that we’re in for something even more hardened:
“I think it’s just more severe, man. All the way around. I think the characters are more severe. I think the movie is more severe. I think it’s just much bigger. It’s just a bigger scope film. Like I said, when I saw it it was like Sicario felt like a small movie to me, even though it was a very intimate movie. I’ve always said I don’t understand why bigger movies can’t be just as intimate, if not more intimate. Why do they have to be less emotional? I think Soldado‘s a perfect example of that. I think it’s extremely emotional. I think it’s extremely tense and it deals with similar subject matters.”