By Doug Gray, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The first trailer for the much-anticipated film sequel Tropa de Elite 2 hit cinemas on June 30th, and all indications suggest that a box office smash is on the cards once more when the film receives its nationwide release in October. Research by Veja Magazine suggested that over 10,000,000 people had seen the original (titled “Elite Squad” in English) before it was released either by downloading it from the internet or via a pirate copy, but the film still went on to gross over US$14 Million since 2007.
Much tighter security surrounds the second film, and though piracy clearly did not significantly hamper profits last time around, the secrecy surrounding the new film has become its own marketing tool, and producers have been tight-lipped over the plot.
What will please the millions of fans, however, is the news that Tropa de Elite 2 is destined to be another revealing and violent look into the world of the elite police outfit trained to confront gangs in the favelas of Rio, the BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion). Filmed between January and April of this year and directed by José Padilla, Wagner Moura reprises his role as Captain Nascimento, but in 2010 the problem is no longer the drug gangs, but rather the militias that dominate the city of Rio.
Nascimento is charged with fighting the war against the militias, and Padilla has again created a dramatic action movie brilliantly using the landscape of the city as his set. Breathtaking aerial shots of the BOPE helicopters and the intense battleground that is the favela’s tight-streets give the visual magic, and the soundtrack is once again strewn with Funk Carioca.
The neighborhoods of Ramos, Jacarepaguá, Barra da Tijuca, Recreio and Dona Marta form the main locations, and it was during filming at the latter that the gunfire and helicopters drew nervous calls to the police from the local residents unaware of the scheduled filming.
Alongside Wagner Moura, Seu Jorge also makes an appearance in the new film. The singer starred in City of God and went on to act in several well-received films including The Life Aquatic in 2004. Moura meanwhile has stayed off the big screen since his last outing as Captain Nascimento, taking to the stage for a run in Hamlet instead.
Tropa de Elite 2 is set to be released on October 8th, 2010, and will arrive on an unprecedented wave of hype, such is the appetite for the sequel in Brazil. Distributed by Zazen Productions, expect to start seeing the first film posters on bus stops and Metro Station walls very soon.