Nine years after the original hit theatres, director Robert Rodriguez and co-director Frank Miller returned to San Diego with key cast from their latest story and said they had already begun talks for a third episode.

Rodriguez introduced Sin City: A Dame To Kill For cast members Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba and Josh Brolin.

Rodriguez presented footage of Marv, the character voiced by Mickey Rourke, as he confronts a gang of sadists who set homeless people on fire.

Later sequences showed dazzling shots of Alba and Dawson in action against the stock black-and-white background punctuated by blood red, orange and neon bubblegum pink.

Much was made of Alba’s grittier persona of in the sequel, both on screen as Nancy Callahan and off it, where she maintained a steely focus on her work.

“I hadn’t seen her in eight years,” said Miller about returning to work on the sequel, “and wondered how had I pissed her off.”

“Nancy was so sweet and she was a victim in the first one and in this one people will be pleasantly surprised to see her turn into a warrior,” said Alba.

Rodriguez said Alba was the first to shoot her scenes and set the bar high – a challenge her cast members took on with gusto.

“The first film was very early for green screen,” he said. “People knew what they were going to do this time. The performances are 10 times, 100 times better.”

“Being an actor you want to connect with another actor and Robert Rodriguez blew that to smithereens because especially doing green screen you don’t know how the movie is going to turn out,” said Brolin.

“It feels totally alien and you’re totally trusting the director. Then you see the movie and go, ‘Oh my god.’”

Miller never expected to see an adaptation of his crime thriller. “I knew I wanted that antiquated way of talking and I had no intention of seeing it on the big screen,” he said.

Rodriguez said he wrote the story with Miller and recorded around 80% of the score on his phone.

Miller said he and Rodriguez had already spoken about a third Sin City and said “inevitably” there would be another Sin City graphic novel but he was unsure when that might happen.

When asked by an audience member about a film adaptation of another of his graphic novel creations, Martha Washington, he said that too would most likely happen at some point.

“But it’s got to be done right and it’s got to be done my way. Now I can be the prick.”

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For also stars Eva Green as the dame of the title, Ray Liotta, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Powers Booth.

Dimension Films is set to release the crime sequel on August 22. Aldamisa International handles sales outside the US.