10 Things You Didn't Know... - February 2, 2017

10 Things You Didn't Know About... The Revenant
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn't Know About... The Revenant

After bringing BiRDMAN, a fiendishly complex drama, to the screen and taking it to Oscar glory in 2014, you'd have thought director Alejandro González Iñárritu might have fancied doing something more straightforward for his next project, like a nice drama or a romantic comedy.

Not a chance; the next thing he went on to make was The Revenant, a proper epic in an age where they don’t get made very often. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson and Will Poulter, the movie is based on the life of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass.

Set in the 19th century in the bleak heart of America, DiCaprio plays Glass, a man who makes a living as a fur trapper. While hunting he is mauled by a bear and, after carrying him for a day or so, his companions make the decision to leave Hardy’s Fitzgerald, Poulter’s Bridger and Glass' son behind to look after him while he fights with death.

But when it looks like he won’t be going anytime soon Fitzgerald loses patience, kills his son and leaves Glass to die, only for him to survive and set out to get revenge on the man who betrayed him.

Now on offer as part of hmv’s awards campaign we thought we’d revisit and bring you 10 things you didn’t know about The Revenant...

 

The movie’s development began back in 2001…

The Revenant is based on Michael Punke’s 2001 book about the life of Glass and the rights to make a movie were acquired before the book was even on the shelves by producer Akiva Goldsman, but it took a long time to make it to the screen. 13 years in all.

 

The film was originally due to star Christian Bale…

Before Iñárritu got hold of it, the closest the project came to fruition was in 2010 when Mark Smith’s script caught the attention of Christian Bale signed on to star. He was due to work with...

 

And had a different director…

John Hillcoat, who was due to direct the movie from May 2010 to October of that year, before he left to make gritty Western Lawless.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out of Steve Jobs to take the role…

DiCaprio looked all set to take the role of the controversial Apple CEO but then was tempted away by Iñárritu and this movie. He was replaced, ironically, by Christian Bale, who would then subsequently drop out himself.

 

Sean Penn was set to co-star in Tom Hardy’s place…

Originally Iñárritu had cast DiCaprio in the role of the dastardly John Fitzgerald, but when he couldn’t do it, the director turned to Hardy. The Legend star was due to star in action thriller Splinter Cell, but after DiCaprio called him and asked him to read the script, he reconsidered and took the role.

 

And Tom Hardy had to quit Suicide Squad

Hardy was all set to take the role of Rick Flagg in DC’s big-budget villains team-up, but after a planned break on The Revenant’s shoot was extended from two weeks to six weeks he was forced to pull out and kiss goodbye to a big cheque in the process. His role would eventually go to Joel Kinnaman.

 

The movie went way, way over budget…

The Revenant was originally greenlit with a budget of $60 million, a lot of money for a movie with no superheroes or monsters. When the shoot dragged on that was upped to $95 million before eventually ballooning to $135 million in the end. Luckily it went on to gross over $550 million at the box office.

 

The production took so long, it had to be moved thousands of miles away…

In the end, the movie’s shoot overran and overran, partly due to bad weather and partly due to Iñárritu’s relentless commitment to perfection, as a result the snow melted during the location shoot in Canada before filming was complete. With summer rapidly approaching, there was no choice but to relocate the entire production to Argentina where it was now winter...

 

There is no green screen because Iñárritu worried everyone would be too happy…

Iñárritu’s commitment to shooting the movie in all natural light was certainly zealous and his shunning of soundstages was summed up in this quote: “If we ended up in green screen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of shit." Strong words...

 

DiCaprio had to temporarily stop being a vegetarian…

A committed vegetarian and lifelong environmental campaigner, he won’t have enjoyed having to eat raw bison liver, but he did it...

 

The Revenant is available now as part of hmv’s awards campaign. To see the full range of titles, click here.

The Revenant
The Revenant Alejandro González Iñárritu

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