“Sicario,” a dark and violent look at the drug war, doesn’t exactly scream franchise. It’s characters are morally compromised and its outlook on a conflict that’s devastated families on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border adds up to a bleak and unflinching drama. There’s nary a caped crusader to be found in this morass.

Despite the obstacles, the 2015 drama is getting a follow-up with this summer’s “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” Unlike the first film, which centers on Emily Blunt’s novice agent, the sequel focuses on Alejandro Gillick, the brutally efficient hit man who oversees off-the-book operations for the CIA. Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro returns to the role, along with Josh Brolin, who once again plays the government official Matt Graver. Blunt sits this one out.

“I felt the character could be explored further,” Del Toro told Variety during an interview at CinemaCon. “I liked the script and just hope that people take to it like I did. It had a lot of turns. It was original and unpredictable.”

Del Toro made the trek to Las Vegas this week to debut footage from the film at the annual exhibition industry trade show. The trailer that he presented to theater owners was bloody and incisive, and finds Gillick and Graver at odds. Gillick is determined to protect the daughter of a drug lord — a decision that leaves him out in the cold and facing off against his former allies.

“We learn more about Alejandro’s past, but we also learn how he acts when his back is against a wall,” said Del Toro.

In “Sicario,” Gillick is often several steps ahead of his adversaries. In the sequel, he’s scrambling to keep up, the actor said.

“What they set out to do and accomplish [in ‘Sicario’], it worked like clock work,” said Del Toro. “With this one, not so much. Now we see how the characters deal with adversity. That’s a little bit different than the Alejandro that we saw before.”

Hitting Vegas was something of a sacrifice for Del Toro. The actor was forced to skip out on the Los Angeles premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the big-budget comic book epic that finds him reprising his role as the Collector, an acquirer of rare materials who clashes with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

“I haven’t seen it,” Del Toro said of “Infinity War.” “I just hope that whatever I did worked.”