Roger Deakins Says Producers Wanted ‘Sicario’ Filmed in Fort Lauderdale: ‘Has Anybody Read the Script?’

“Sicario” almost had the same location as “Spring Breakers.”

Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 crime drama centered on Mexican drug cartels was almost filmed in Fort Lauderdale, according to cinematographer Roger Deakins. The Oscar winner recalled the filmmakers having to convince producers that it was worth shooting in Mexico City in lieu of Juarez even due to the high cost of insurance.

“We had to convince some producers to go to Mexico City because they didn’t want us to go there for insurance,” Deakins said during a panel discussion moderated by Annette Insdorf at the 92nd Street Y.

Deakins’ wife and collaborator James Deakins added, “They wanted Fort Lauderdale.”

Deakins continued, “I was actually in a production meeting and I said, ‘Has anybody read the script?’ So anyway, they let us go to Mexico City for a few days. I have to say, the cops in Mexico City were fantastic. We found some of the locations in the morning before we were going to shoot. There’s a scene outside the prison and Denis and I were riding around saying, ‘This prison is fantastic, can we shoot here?’ And it wasn’t until 10 o’clock in the morning when we actually got permission and managed to do two shots so that’s what we got but it was really worth it.”

James Deakins, Roger Deakins, and Annette Isdorf at the 92nd Street YVladimir Kolesnikov

“Sicario,” written by “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan and stars Emily Blunt as an FBI special agent who joins two CIA officers, played by Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, to take down the leader of a cartel. The film was Oscar-nominated for Best Cinematography and spurred sequel “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” helmed by Stefano Sollima. A third film, titled “Sicario: Capos,” is reportedly in development.

Brolin gave an update on the possible trilogy installment in April 2023, saying, “‘Sicario 3,’ we’ve been trying to get that right and get that going, but why hasn’t it happened? How long can you wait? A tough movie to get made even though the two made money, and people are asking about it all the time.”

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