Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in making The Revenant: The Revenant – a film originated from the novel with the same name by Michael Punke (The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge) which is also inspired by a true historical story – a survival story about Hugh Glass’s (starring Leonardo Dicaprio) experiences as a harsh and sinewy fur trapper from the frontier struggling to survive, to cheat death, and of course to have his vengeance fulfilled.
The movie, up until now is not officially released yet, but its other two versions already hit the theaters as premiere (on December 16, 2015) and limited edition (on December 25, 2015); and The Revenant did meet all of our early expectation by deftly hooking us up with its immensely spellbinding experiences. But little did we know, the crew’s journey to make the film happen is quite quirky, challenging and above all, unconventional.
In times of yore, the film was firstly set to be directed by Park Chan-wook with Samuel L. Jackson as protagonist, but thereafter he left the project and the master mind behind Birdman came to take over the role in August 2011. To all audience who has an affinity to the wilderness, they would probably find themselves so acquainted with the movie, just like their own home, as The Revenant was filmed not in the Studio but in an uneasy and inhospitable reality of wilderness. The labor of shooting has been worked out for almost 9 months in which the whole crew had to travel continuously from and to location within the vast of remote Canadian area, not to mention the lacking of light for filming during the frosty winter of northern Canada. This meant, the shooting was of absolute complexity, and cinematographer’s team here (including Emmanuel Lubezki – renowned by his works in Birdman) deserved to be honored as the heroes of the movie considering their delicate contribution in filming in very small bits and pieces.
Even though, the process was hard, everything seemed to be under control; according to the director, his original plan has been well-secured and those ordeals that the crew had to deal with, turned out to be a marvelous chance in producing such an extraordinary visual art.
The story depicting a human being against the wild, a survivalist with extraordinary will and beyond belief endurance might again have Iñárritu’s name announced to be the best director in achievement of this year. Last year, he won himself 3 Oscars Awards, and this Mexican director seems to be unstoppable on his path to become legendary.