There's a fantastic piece over at Grantland today about The Revenant, the new film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. The movie's first trailer just dropped a few days ago, and it looks absolutely breathtaking. One thing that struck me about it, though, was that it doesn't look quite as much like the typical revenge film I've been expecting ever since the project was announced.
DiCaprio plays trapper Hugh Glass, a real man who was mauled by a bear and left to die by his companions. But he survives the attack and ends up trudging through the wilderness in order to track them down. If you've seen the trailer, it appears as if that element is secondary to a more existential drama within the character, and apparently a lot of that will be depicted without words. DiCaprio describes his take on the character:
“It was a different type of challenge for me because I’ve played a lot of very vocal characters. It’s something that I really wanted to investigate — playing a character that says almost nothing. How do you relay an emotional journey and get in tune with this man’s angst … without words?”
“Honestly, Leo, he’s attacked by a bear, and after that, he becomes almost like a silent character: a lot of things going on, but no words. That’s for me the essence of cinema: not to rely on the words, but images and emotions.”
The production, which uses only natural light and is beautifully shot by Emmanuel Lubezki (who won the past two Best Cinematography Oscars and looks like a favorite for another here), had to shut down due to weather, so they still have about another week to shoot. They're heading to the Tierra del Fuego region of Argentina in the next few days to capture the film's final scenes, trying to match the snowy weather there with the Canadian landscapes they shot last year.
There are many, many more great quotes and bits of info available, including Inarritu calling DiCaprio the best actor he's ever worked with, and if you're even slightly interested in this film, I'd highly recommend reading the whole piece over at Grantland. The Revenant arrives in theaters on December 25th.