Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt to Hunt Mexican Drug Cartels in ‘Sicario’

Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners”) is directing the thriller, which was written by Taylor Sheridan

After winning an Oscar for his turn as a Mexican cop in “Traffic,” Benicio Del Toro is heading south of the border again, as he’s nearing a deal to star opposite Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve’s thriller “Sicario,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Taylor Sheridan penned the script, which follows a SWAT officer (Blunt) who travels to Mexico with a pair of mercenaries to track down a drug lord.

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Del Toro will play an assassin hired by the U.S. government to help bring down the Cartels, which are responsible for the death of his family.

Basil Iwanyk will produce with Edward McDonnell and Black Label Media’s Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill.

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Villeneuve recently directed “Prisoners” and has had his eye on del Toro for some time, while Blunt is coming off strong female roles in “Looper” and the upcoming Tom Cruise action movie “Edge of Tomorrow.” The filmmaker is also attached to direct “Story of Your Life,” for which Amy Adams is in negotiations to star.

Del Toro can currently be seen opposite Mathieu Amalric in “Jimmy P,” which was plagued by poor reviews. He next stars as drug lord Pablo Escobar alongside Josh Hutcherson in “Paradise Lost,” and will soon be seen in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”