Since last fall, news that a sequel to Denis Villeneuve‘s terrific “Sicario” was in the works has gone from being met with disbelief, to acceptance that it’s actually happening. This spring brought word that Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Josh Brolin would all be reprising their roles, with Taylor Sheridan returning to write the script for the followup. And while Villeneuve won’t be back behind the camera (his schedule is packed with “Story Of Your Life,” “Blade Runner 2,” and the recently announced “The Son“), an intriguing choice has been made to direct the followup, while it seems the story has ended for one part of the leading trio.

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Deadline reports that the deal is closing for Stefano Sollima to helm the “Sicario” sequel, which will be titled “Soldado.” As long suggested, the story will center on del Toro’s “consultant,” who will once again be working with Brolin’s somewhat duplicitous CIA agent, as they monitor more activity across the Mexico/U.S. border. Not returning will be Blunt’s FBI agent Kate Macer, and while that’s a bummer, it makes sense narratively, since her character is pretty shattered by the end of “Sicario.” It seems logical that she would walk away from everything she’s endured, rather than face that horror again.

As for Sollima, the Italian filmmaker is probably best known for directing the “Gomorrah” TV series, inspired by Matteo Garrone‘s acclaimed movie of the same, as well the “Romanzo criminale” series, which was spun-off from the movie of the same name (sensing a pattern here?). Villeneuve leaves some big shoes to fill, but apparently Sheridan’s script is top notch, so Sollima will have strong material to work with.

If everything comes together as it should, cameras will start rolling on “Soldado” this fall, which means we could see the followup as early as next year (fingers crossed). We’re cautiously excited to see where the story goes next. Thoughts? Let us know below.