We’re excited for the release of Sicario: Day of the Soldado, in part because it gives us another chance to see characters that we never assumed would get new life in a sequel. Set after the events of 2015’s Sicario, the sequel follows Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) – a CIA operative and a shadowy mercenary/assassin – as the CIA charges them with stopping Mexican drug cartels that are smuggling terrorists across the border.

Day of the Soldado looks like a gritty thrill ride, and with Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima at the helm we wouldn’t expect anything less. Sollima has been directing for years, but this film is his first in the English language. If you don’t know much about him, now is your chance to get acquainted before Sicario: Day Of The Soldado hits theaters.

Television Roots

While Sollima is an increasingly established feature film director, he began his career as a camera operator, working for major networks including CBS and CNN, with work in war zones immediately establishing his reputation and work ethic. With a clear passion for working behind the camera, Sollima soon moved into directing. As a young man he made short films, starting with Thanks. While continuing to work on short films, he transitioned into directing television, where he built a reliable career in a competitive landscape.

His first TV work was on on Italian soap opera Un posto as sole, which has been running for over 20 years. Afterward, he moved on to popular series such as Ho sposato un calciatore and Crimes. But it was his work on Sky Cinema’s 2008 original series Romanzo Criminale – La series that put him on the map. The series was based on the story of a criminal organization in 1970s Rome. It ran for two years, with Sollima directing all 22 episodes. Perhaps his best television work, however, is on Gomorrah. The Italian crime drama is extremely popular both at home and internationally, and Sollima served as the show’s primary director for its first two seasons.

Feature Films

[Credit: Columbia Pictures]

Following his success on television, Sollima made his feature film debut in 2012 with ACAB — All Cops Are Bastards, before directing Suburra in 2015. Sicario: Day of the Soldado will be Sollima’s first English language film, and we can’t wait to see what the rapidly developing filmmaker does with the second chapter of the Sicario franchise.

According to the man himself, the film is not your average sequel. In an interview with The Independent, Sollima said:

“It’s absolutely a standalone movie – a completely different story with just two of the characters that you met in Sicario… It’s not a real sequel. The antagonists are now absolutely the main characters.”

It’s sounding like Day of the Soldado will be more of a spin-off sequel than a traditional one. Additionally, Sollima is a fan of the the franchise, which can only mean good things for the second film.

“I loved Sicario. I feel the movie was quite similar to my approach so, to me, I’m just shooting another movie. Soldado will be much more cinematic than Sicario was; it’s got an incredible amount of huge action sequences in there. It will be a different journey in the same world. Even the theme is different – it’s not drug dealing, it’s more on immigration.”

Sollima is a master of his craft, and having had decades of experience in the industry we’re excited to see what he brings to Sicario: Day of The Soldado when it hits theaters later this month.

Sicario: Day Of The Soldado opens on June 29, 2018.