“If you make her a dude, we’ll up your budget”: Taylor Sheridan Was a Righteous Cowboy Before Yellowstone After What He Did for Emily Blunt in Sicario

Taylor Sheridan stands up for what is right after facing years of oppression himself during his time as an actor.

taylor sheridan, emily blunt in sicario


  • Taylor Sheridanʼs Sicario script exposes the reality of the US-Mexican drug war.
  • Taylor Sheridan backs Emily Bluntʼs casting in Sicario despite studio exec demanding her removal as the leading star.
  • Sicario 3 still remains very much in demand after Josh Brolinʼs mixed update on the threequelʼs development.
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Taylor Sheridanʼs saga of nightmarish terror on the borders that reverberated through the screens across the globe in Emily Bluntʼs 2015 blockbuster, Sicario, had a much greater war on sexism and misogyny raging in the backdrop. While the narrative on the drug war and the violence associated with it found a voice onscreen, the same cannot be said about the directorʼs war against the studio execs to make his vision of a dream cast come true.


Emily Blunt and Daniel Kaluuya in Sicario [Credit Lionsgate Films]
Emily Blunt and Daniel Kaluuya in Sicario [Credit: Lionsgate Films]
However, it should not be a shocking statement to learn of the inherent misogyny that still runs rampant in Hollywoodʼs every sector and corner. The demand for representation, pay equality, and more justifiable negotiations have taken center stage during studio deals but 2015 was still a long time before such rapid progress took shape in Hollywood.

As such, the stories that have surfaced over the years about the brutalist nature of studio executives and production giants have shocked the audience but never really came as a surprise.


Taylor Sheridan Fought for Emily Blunt as Sicarioʼs Lead

Emily Blunt in Taylor Sheridanʼs Sicario [Credit: Lionsgate Films]
Emily Blunt in Sicario [Credit: Lionsgate Films]
A squad landing smack dab in the middle of the cross-border cross-cultural war, first and foremost, needed a leader. For Taylor Sheridanʼs story of US soldiers fighting against the Mexican drug cartels, Emily Blunt stood at the helm as she righteously guided her task force across deserted landscapes and crowded towns haunted by the ghost of murder and violence.

Sheridanʼs representation of such a reality blended with unimaginable horrors almost took a different shape when his script for Sicario got manhandled at the very initial stages of its development by a studio executive. According to Blunt [via Hollywood.com], “The writer was approached by one financier who said, ‘If you make her a dude, we’ll up your budget.’ Welcome to Hollywood!”

Sheridan refused to comply with the execʼs demands and stood firm in his decision to portray Emily Blunt as the central hook of the story through whose eyes, the audience would also witness the not-so-black-and-white morality of the underworld.


Sicario Needs to Replicate Its Success Once Again

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) [Credit Lionsgate Films]
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) [Credit: Lionsgate Films]
Taylor Sheridanʼs Sicario came at an astute time when the cross-border drug war was intensifying at an unprecedented rate and the media was swept up in news that portrayed nothing about the truth. Sheridan then took it upon himself to bring the story to the limelight that the rest of the world wanted to shut itself off against.

After penning the story in 4 months and skipping development hell entirely, Taylor Sheridanʼs Sicario found its way onto the screens through the lens of Denis VilleneuveSicario opened to widespread critical acclaim, earning $85 million against a $30 million budget and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In 2018, Sicario: Day of the Soldado failed to impress the audience despite retaining Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin from the original movie. With Sheridan and Villeneuve stepping back from the sequel, it languished critically and commercially. However, the demand for Sicario 3 still remains in high demand due to the love and attachment toward the first film.


Sicario is available for streaming on MGM+


Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1620

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has over 1600 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for music, Monet, and Van Gogh.