A Sicario sequel seemed intriguing enough before we found out that Denis Villeneuve wouldn’t be very involved (because he’s filming another sequel — Blade Runner 2) and that Emily Blunt wouldn’t be returning, either. But with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin on board and a promising new director in tow, we’re still willing to give Soldado a chance. And as it turns out, the sequel isn’t so much a sequel as it is a standalone or a spinoff, and it might be part of a bigger anthology trilogy. You know, like American Horror Story: Drug Cartel.

In a new interview with The Independent, director Stefano Sollimo spoke about Soldado, his upcoming sequel to Sicario, which he says is “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.

There is one key creative returning for the follow-up to Villeneuve’s cartel thriller: Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the screenplay for both Sicario and its not-really-sequel Soldado. Sollimo says Sheridan actually has plans to turn the series into a trilogy of sorts:

The idea is to make three anthology movies with some of the core actors and in the same world.

So maybe the door is still open for Emily Blunt to return in a third film that could center on her character after the events of Sicario. Honestly, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that Sheridan had originally written her into Soldado, but ultimately had to cut her from the script when Blunt’s other commitments (like that Mary Poppins sequel) kept her from returning.

With Villeneuve and Blunt (and cinematographer Roger Deakins) out, I remain skeptical of this Sicario follow-up, particularly since Del Toro’s character was only fascinating because we knew very little about him. But maybe Sheridan and Sollimo will deliver something almost as compelling as Villeneuve’s film. Maybe.