The film was announced less than a month after the release of the first installment.
Denis Villeneuve could not return to direct this sequel due to scheduling conflicts with Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
The first installment in the series was titled "Sicario," a Spanish word that translates to "hitman" in English. "Soldado" in English means "soldier."
The film is dedicated to the memory of Jóhann Jóhannsson, the composer of the first film, who died in February 2018.
Emily Blunt was originally attached to reprise her role in Sicario (2015) as FBI Agent Kate Macer. However, director Stefano Sollima ultimately decided not to use Blunt or her character in the film, noting that Macer represented the moral compass in Sicario (2015), whereas he did not want any character to serve as moral guidance in the sequel. Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the story and screenplay for both films, also stated in interviews that he could not think of a reason to keep Agent Macer in the second film, and that her character's story had already come full circle in the first installment.
Lionsgate was originally going to distribute this film in the United States, but a disagreement between them and Black Label Media made the distribution rights change from Lionsgate to Columbia Pictures. The same happened with Only the Brave (2017).
Isabela Moner had to chop her long hair into a short pixie hairstyle for this film. The video of the haircut is on her YouTube channel. She donated the hair to charity.
Jeremy Saulnier was considered to direct this film but left, due to scheduling conflicts with his other movie Hold the Dark (2018).
Third action movie for Josh Brolin in 2018, after Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Deadpool 2 (2018).
This is the 5th movie in which Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin have both co-starred. The previous movies in which they both acted were Inherent Vice (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Sicario (2015), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin have both been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Collector and Thanos respectively.
Both lead actors in the film have a connection to Pee-Wee Herman. Benicio del Toro's first feature film role was the Dog-Faced Boy in Big Top Pee-Wee. Josh Brolin's father James Brolin played "P.W." in the "movie within a movie" at the end of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
The film was criticized by some for its perceived negative stereotypes of Mexicans and Muslims.