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By Doug Gray, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – It may not be the most unusual sound to hear in the city, but the levels of firepower ricocheting off the hills of Dona Marta last week coupled with the gunship-style armed helicopters looping over Flamengo before going in for another pass above the favela undoubtedly raised alarm among residents.

On the set of Tropa de Elite 2, photo by Alex Lima.
On the set of Tropa de Elite 2, photo by Alex Lima.

It has been several months since the worst violence resulting from the new favela pacification program, and it looked like once again a police operation in the city could have resulted in all-out warfare.

Fortunately for the local inhabitants the scenes were merely part of Tropa de Elite 2, the follow up to the acclaimed 2007 film that followed Rio’s Special Police Operations Battalion, or BOPE, in their fight for control of the favelas against militias and drug gangs, and indeed of the force itself.

Despite being widely available on pirate DVD in this country long before the official release, Tropa de Elite has grossed nearly R$15 million to date worldwide and its dialogue and soundtrack were rapidly assimilated into the everyday lexicon of Rio’s ever-morphing slang and street culture, further ensuring its success.

The second installment looks set to build on that popularity and is set to be ready for an August release date. Once again José Padilha is in the director’s chair, and the team, which now includes Avatar’s special effects technician René Diamante, promises it will have even more action, bullets and explosions than before.

Again, Wagner Moura will play the BOPE captain, and hundreds of policemen from across the country have applied to play the role of extras alongside him in what is sure to be Brazil’s biggest movie of the year.

The sequel promises even more action than the first instalment, photo by Alex Lima.
The sequel promises even more action than the first instalment, photo by Alex Lima.

Much is being kept shrouded in secrecy as to the plot of the new film, and it is being edited while it is being shot in order to try and keep with the film’s deadline.

Star of the film Moura did divulge that his character has grown up somewhat however, saying “(Captain Nascimento) has become more aware in the years since the last film took place, having been through different processes within the police force.”

Quite how that translates to the plot of the film will remain to be seen, but what is certain is that fans will be expecting a blockbuster after three years of waiting for the sequel to come along, and the directors will be hoping for an Oscar nomination to go with their Berlin Film Festival Award last time around.

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