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‘Sicario 2’ Director Answers the ‘Call of Duty’

Director Stefano Sollima could be the first in a long line of visionaries attached to the ‘Call of Duty’ cinematic universe.
By  · Published on February 14th, 2018

Director Stefano Sollima could be the first in a long line of visionaries attached to the ‘Call of Duty’ cinematic universe.

No one was asking for a Sicario sequel. Denis Villeneuve’s original descent into America’s unwinnable war against drug trafficking was a visceral, angry, and utterly brutal assault on the gee whiz dreams of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” mentality. Sicario is ugly, mean-spirited, and finite…at least in the sense that Emily Blunt’s good intentions were meaningless in the face Benicio Del Toro’s savage pragmatism. Wolf or sheep, make your choice. She did. The end. Where could a follow-up film possibly go?

Based on the trailer, Sicario 2: Soldado looks to simply plunge us further into hell. The government sanctioned demons of Del Toro and Josh Brolin are off the chain, stalking the streets of Mexico as judge, jury, and executioner. I’m not sure if the film will offer us any insights into our pointless pursuit of the cartels, but it certainly looks to bring our bloodlust to boil. As Rambo so eloquently put it, “They drew first blood, not me!” Maybe we can unleash Del Toro’s beast in a string of action sequels taking down perceived American threats? Or we may have another franchise to fill that role.

At least somebody over at Activision Blizzard Studios is excited about the Sicario sequel. Per Variety, the film division of the video game company has selected Soldado director Stefano Sollima to helm the first cinematic entry in their Call of Duty line. Something witnessed within Del Toro’s tactical takedown of cartel goons must feel reminiscent of the game’s first-person battlefront rampages. It’s easy to imagine the border shoot-out from the first film as a Call of Duty campaign, and no doubt, Soldado will top that war zone setting.

Negotiations with Sollima have not been solidified, and Call of Duty is still without a distributor. We don’t even know what iteration of the game the film will take on. Modern Warfare? Black Ops? The classic World War II European theater? Zombies?

When speaking to The Guardian last year, Activision executive Stacey Sher boldly claimed that a Call of Duty franchise could amount to a cinematic shared universe operating on the same level as Marvel’s:

“We have plotted out many years. We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while the public operation is going on.”

Activision is looking to contribute a series of films where characters can dip in and out of various plotlines, and they’re hunting for talent that pops. Sher has been a producer on a number of Quentin Tarantino films (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight) as well as AMC’s Into The Badlands series. She’s hoping to bring on several visionary directors to Call of Duty, and Sollima could be the first of many.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)