U.S. Release Date: 1/8/16
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the director of The Revenant, believes that society has completely lost touch with the natural world of clouds, rivers and wilderness.
Such a belief undoubtedly stems from society’s rabid obsession with high level careers, vicious corporate fights, mobile devices – which have become our lifeblood for social media, email and instant messaging – that nice fat pay check, and numerous vacations to glitzy locales.
“Yet the wilderness is always a part of us — we are clouds, we are rivers, we are formed by the same elements,” he says in the film’s press notes. “I think when you see these places, there is a connection there that reminds you where you come from and where you are going. One of the blessings of the film was being able to bring environments that do that to the screen.”
Based on true events, The Revenant, which unfolds on the American Frontier in 1862, paints a brutal picture of survival and revenge. Leonardo Di Caprio plays Hugh Glass – a fur hunter – who is savagely attacked by a bear and abandoned by his own hunting team. But Glass is not dead, and a solid love for his wife and son drives him across a brutal and unpredictable terrain in search of John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the man who betrayed him.
“The Revenant is an incredible journey through the harshest elements of an uncharted America,” says Di Caprio in the same press notes. “It’s about the power of a man’s spirit. Hugh Glass’s story is the stuff of campfire legends, but Alejandro uses that folklore to explore what it really means to have all the chips stacked against you, what the human spirit can endure and what happens to you when you do endure.”
The film’s title – a definition of someone who returns from the dead – refers to Glass’ refusal to die – something which has earned him a solid place within the annals of folklore. Says the filmmaker:
“Glass’s story asks the questions ‘Who are we when we are completely stripped of everything? What are we made of and what are we capable of?’”
For Iñárritu, The Revenant – which couldn’t be further apart from his 2014 hit Birdman – spins a tale about spiritual growth.
“It’s an intense, emotional story set against a beautiful, epic backdrop that explores the lives of trappers who grew spiritually even as they suffered immensely physically. Though much of Glass’s story is apocryphal, we tried to stay very faithful to what these men went through in these undeveloped territories.”
That point especially proved true when it came to weather. Iñárritu shot his film in Canada and Argentina during a period of brutal blizzards and wind – a strategy which he hoped would allow for realistic storytelling and dump audiences into a highly ferocious landscape.
“You can have seven different kinds of weather in a single day,” reveals the filmmker, who, alongside his cast and crew, also contended with dangers such as avalanches, bears, blizzards and frostbite.
“In the beginning, we struggled with low temperatures and blizzards. Later on, we struggled with no snow. It was a winter of record high temperatures, and we went from chasing Chinooks to chasing ice. So we endured difficult physical and technical conditions to squeeze every honest emotion out of this incredible adventure.”
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
Stars: Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domhall Gleeson and Will Poulter
Screenwriters: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith,
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon and James W. Skotchdopole
Executive Producers: David Kantner, Jennifer Davisson, James Packer and Brett Ratner
Quote and Info Source: 20th Century Fox Press Notes
Image Info: Photo Credit: Kimberley French Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. THE REVENANT Motion Picture Copyright © 2015 Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc. and Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.