One of last year's surprise hits was the critically-acclaimed Lionsgate film Sicario, which wasn't exactly a box office blockbuster, but did fare decently for a September movie, taking in $84 million worldwide from a $30 million budget. Just a month after this thriller starring Emily Blunt hit theaters, Lionsgate announced that a follow-up was coming, and just last month, Italian director Stefano Sollima (Suburra) stepped in to take the helm. While there is still much we don't know about the story, this sequel, entitled Soldado ("soldier" in Spanish), will not be your typical follow-up. The director also teased that a third installment is already in the works.

Last year's Sicario is set in the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, where an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is exposed to the brutal world of international drug trafficking by members of a government task force (Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro) who have enlisted her in their plan to take out a Mexican cartel boss. While Emily Blunt is not returning for Soldado, both Benicio del Toro (Alejandro Gillick) and Josh Brolin (Matt Graver) will reprise their roles. Independent caught up with director Stefano Sollima, who teased that Soldado is a standalone movie that uses some of the same characters from Sicario.

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"It's not a real sequel. It's absolutely a standalone movie -- a completely different story with just two of the characters that you met in Sicario. The reason that I love [Soldado] is because it's not exactly a sequel; it's something you can catch and enjoy even if you haven't watched the first one."

The director also teased that Sicario 3 is also in the works, and that the studio plans on making three anthology movies "with some of the core actors and [set] in the same world." Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the script for Sicario, returned to write Soldado, which, according to a report from Deadline earlier this month, is quite topical. The plot follows Gillick and Graver as they focus their efforts on shutting down the tunnels between the U.S. and Mexico, which are used to transport drugs, immigrants and even terrorists across the border.

It is believed that production will begin this fall on Soldado, although Lionsgate hasn't solidified a release date quite yet. Thunder Road's Basil Iwanyk, Black Label's Molly Smith, Thad and Trent Luckinbill and Edward McDonnell are producing. Stay tuned for more on Soldado as we get closer to production starting later this year.