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The Revenant (2015) Poster

(2015)

Trivia

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Due to production being behind schedule, 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 southern Argentina, where there were similar wintry conditions.
Leonardo DiCaprio chose to devour a raw slab of bison's liver, even though he is vegetarian. He also had to learn to shoot a musket, build a fire, speak two Native American languages (Pawnee and Arikara), and study with a doctor who specializes in ancient healing techniques. DiCaprio calls it the hardest performance of his career.
Shot only with natural light but with only one exception, according to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki: a campfire sequence at night where the wind was causing the fire to pulse in a distracting way. "We had to lay a bunch of light bulbs around the fire to create a cushion of light," Lubezki admits. "That's all the light we used." [16 Dec. 2015, Variety]
Shot chronologically on an 80-day schedule that took place over a total principal photography time period of nine months. This unusually long production time was due to the cold weather conditions, the remoteness of the locations and director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's aesthetic plan to shoot only with natural light for maximum realism. Only a few shooting hours were available every day and had to be carefully planned in advance.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu was insistent that computer-generated imagery not be used to enhance the film, stating, "If we ended up in greenscreen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of shit."
Leonardo DiCaprio states in an interview that he had witnessed Arthur RedCloud (Hikuc) eating bison on the set all day. When the scene came for him to eat the bison liver, they gave him a red gelatinous "pancake" that looked so unrealistic that he decided to eat the real thing in the scene. He admitted that he "would never, never do that again."
Tom Hardy has stated that he does not read scripts. At one time, he was due to star in Splinter Cell. He wanted to play a soldier in that film, but Leonardo DiCaprio begged him to read the script for this movie. Hardy read half the script and accepted the role.
The real Hugh Glass did not have a son and there is no record that he was ever married.
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The very hectic shooting schedule forced Tom Hardy to leave Suicide Squad (2016). Hardy revealed to Collider that the film "...has turned into a much bigger beast than we thought, but that also looks exceptional."
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According to Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio bet that Hardy would get nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film, whereas Hardy thought otherwise. The wager was that the loser would be forced to get a tattoo of the winner's choice. It turned out that DiCaprio was right and the choice of tattoo was a hand scribed, "Leo knows all" by DiCaprio.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu's temperamental nature, along with the high-pressure schedule and unpleasant filming conditions, made it a very difficult shoot and caused several crew members to leave the project or were fired. Iñárritu explained, "As a director, if I identify a violin that is out of tune, I have to take that from the orchestra."
Leonardo DiCaprio was originally approached to star in Steve Jobs (2015) but dropped out to do this film instead.
In July 2015 it was reported that the film's budget had ballooned from the original $60 million to $95 million. By the time production wrapped, it had reached $135 million, mainly because they had to move production from Canada to Argentina.
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The film takes place in 1823.
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The origin of the title is rooted in the French verb "revenir," which means "to return." Revenant in French also means (reverting to) "spirit" or "ghost."
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Arthur RedCloud (Hikuc) had never appeared in a film before this. He was actually a truck driver from Texas, making a living by transporting oil.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu originally planned to make this film earlier, but when production was delayed because Leonardo DiCaprio was busy starring in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), he made Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014).
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Leonardo DiCaprio said, in tribute to the filmmakers, that in spite of the extreme suffering his character goes through in the film, and the physical difficulties in making the picture on location, he was never injured for real during the shoot.
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Sean Penn was the first choice for the role of John Fitzgerald and was actually cast in the role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. The role was then filled in by Tom Hardy.
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Leonardo DiCaprio described the only time the shooting process got so extreme in which he tapped Alejandro G. Iñárritu on the shoulder, when Iñarritu shot a scene with Glass and his son, their teeth chattering in a hailstorm, and the camera froze and it was time to stop.
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The 1971 film, Man in the Wilderness (1971), starring Richard Harris as Zachary Bass, the man mauled and left for dead, and John Huston as Captain Henry, is based on the same story.
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Leonardo DiCaprio's sixth Oscar nomination (and his first-ever win).
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Tom Hardy watched Tom Berenger in Platoon (1986) for inspiration.
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Marks Leonardo DiCaprio's feature film role with the fewest words of dialogue.
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With this film, Alejandro G. Iñárritu became one of three directors to win consecutive Best Director Oscars. Emmanuel Lubezki, with his third consecutive Best Cinematography Oscar, became the only cinematographer to win three in a row and one of only three people to win three years in the same category consecutively.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki wanted to shoot on 35mm and 65mm film for daylight scenes and digital for night scenes. The 35mm scenes were going to be shot with anamorphic lenses. After testing the Arri Alexa 65 camera, they decided to shoot all-digital, as digital allowed an hour longer of exposure per day during twilight, as well as shooting with spherical lenses only.
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When Arthur RedCloud answered an online casting call for this film, he thought that it was for a small role. He never imagined that the role was a very pivotal one. It wasn't until he was called to Canada to audition for director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and first set foot on set that he realized how important his role really was. He says, "You usually have to get a small part on a major film and then work your way to a huge major role, especially working with a director like that, as well as an actor like Mr. DiCaprio."
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The film was shot in 12 different locations and three different countries: Canada, the US and Argentina. Specifically, Canadian filming took place in British Columbia and Alberta including Squamish, Fortress Mountain, and at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, British Columbia. While the initial plan was to film entirely in Canada, the weather ended up being too warm, leading the filmmakers to locations at the tip of Argentina, with snow on the ground, to shoot the film's ending.
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In 2010 Christian Bale was attached to play Hugh Glass, with John Hillcoat directing.
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Leonardo DiCaprio won 32 awards for his performance in this movie, including his first Oscar for Best Actor.
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The first completed and released feature film shot with the new 6.5k ARRI Alexa 65 camera.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu defended himself against reports that the production spun out of control, claiming that it was understood from the beginning that the project would be expensive, and that most of the over-budget costs came from schedule delays due to weather.
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Arthur RedCloud incorporated the teachings and medicine of his grandfather, who was a shaman, into his character, Hikuc. He himself even built the medicine hut that Hikuc places Glass in from memory of his grandfather's teachings.
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6-foot-4 stuntman Glenn Ennis was one of the two stuntmen who stood in for the computer generated bear while filming was taking place and was charged with portraying as a convincing Grizzly as possible. He states, "In rehearsals, I would wear a blue suit with a bear head which obviously doesn't make it into the film as the CGI guys paint the bear in. Alejandro G. Inarritu was adamant that the blue bear move just like a real bear would move and it was essential that it had the same nuances that a bear would have. Even though it was a big Smurf bear, it still had to be as authentic as possible." The 51 year old Vancouverite explained that the role often required him to spend quite a bit of time up-close and personal with the film's star. He goes on to say, "If you notice the bear's head in the picture, they wanted the bear's mouth to be right on his lower back. I was supposed to grab his jacket with my hand to make it look like the bear's jaws we're pulling it in order to have the bear's jaw in the small of his back. Basically, my face was in his butt. My face was in Leo's butt for a fair bit of time. I can see how that's someone's fantasy, but it wasn't mine."
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Some of the filming occurred near Calgary, Canada, where unpredictable chinook winds have produced spring-like conditions in the dead of winter for as long as weather has been recorded. Evidently unaware of these chinooks, Leonardo DiCaprio attributed a sudden thaw to the unprecedented effects of global warming, much to the amusement of locals and Canadian media.
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This film reunites Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Lukas Haas, who previously appeared together in Inception (2010).
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The attack on the fur trapper group scene took two takes.
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This film marks the return of composer Ryuichi Sakamoto to Western cinema. He is best known for his Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and Grammy Award-winning musical score for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). Sakamoto's last effort in a Hollywood production was Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes (1998).
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu had stated that he originally wanted to shoot the film chronologically, a process that would have added $7 million to the film's production budget. Iñarritu later confirmed that the film was shot in-sequence, despite Tom Hardy's statement that the film could not be shot chronologically, due to weather conditions.
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Reportedly, the real life legend of Hugh Glass sleeping inside of his horse (or a bear in some tellings) to stay warm was the inspiration for a similar scene in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), where Han Solo infamously cuts open a Tauntaun for Luke Skywalker to sleep in during a blizzard.
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Kristoffer Joner, portraying Murphy, very much has a secondary role in this film. He is one of the biggest grossing stars in Norwegian cinema, most often playing leading roles.
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Development began in August 2001, with producer Akiva Goldsman acquiring the rights to Michael Punke's unpublished manuscript. Dave Rabe has written the film's script.
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This film's success sparked a growing interest in Man in the Wilderness (1971) which eventually prompted Warner Bros. to release the film on Blu-ray on August 16th, 2016 as part of its Warner Archive Collection.
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The film won an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production. This was specifically for the visual effects work of the bear. The film defeated Jurassic World (2015), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
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Leonardo DiCaprio's Best Actor Oscar win marks the fourth year in a row that the Best Actor Oscar went to an actor playing a real-life person, starting with Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), Matthew McConaughey playing Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014). Additionally, in the most recent three Oscar years, four of the five Best Actor nominees have played real life people.
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Production designer Jack Fisk wanted the Fort Kiowa set to look worn out. Lumber discarded by the Canadian Park service was used. Once the lumber was shipped to Calgary by carpenters, Fisk felt that the materials looked too perfect. He states, "I had to pick it up with a big forklift in the air and drop it three times. And it started to look better."
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In this film Hugh Glass is shown to have had a wife and son, even though there are no historical records of the real Glass having any children or being married. Similarly, in Man in the Wilderness (1971), Zachary Bass, who is also based on Glass, was also shown to have had a wife and son.
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The trailer crossed over 7,000,000 views less than 36 hours after its release on July 17, 2015.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu won his second Academy Award for Best Director for this film, his first for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) the previous year, becoming the first director since Joseph L. Mankiewicz (in 1949 and 1950) to win the award in consecutive years.
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The avalanche that happened later on in the film was actually a practical effect. This was created by using planes to drop explosives on top of Fortress Mountain in Alberta, Canada which was captured by using a crane. This had to be done in one take and the timing had to be precise. Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu called it "stressful but thrilling".
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When Glass is in the abandoned church, there is a mural on the wall. One of the far right images is that of the Hanged Man from the tarot deck (hanging upside-down with legs crossed in a "4" shape), which is symbolic of death and rebirth.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu's longest film, at 2 hours and 36 minutes.
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Though darker in tone, this film took many cues in approach and is heavily influenced stylistically and visually by two previous works from director Terrence Malick: The Thin Red Line (1998) and The New World (2005). In addition, this film and "The New World": share the same cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki.
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Leonardo DiCaprio has won nearly every award he has been nominated for through his role in this film, including Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild.
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Around the time of the film's initial theatrical release in December 2015, word had spread that Leonardo DiCaprio's character gets raped in the bear attack scene. This turned out to be a total misconception due to some people mistaking some of the bear's movements as sexually aggressive and forceful. This misconception was so prevalent that the parent's guide website, Kids-In-Mind.com, had to put a disclaimer notice on top of the content page for this film in stating that the scene doesn't involve rape in any manner. Incidentally, this rumor was one of the factors that brought more publicity and public curiosity for the film.
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The reason Leonardo DiCaprio's role as Hugh Glass is different from his usual characters is because in the tale of real-world frontiersman, Hugh Glass battling for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his crew, much of DiCaprio's screen time is spent alone, not talking, letting us know he is enduring endless pain of both the physical and emotional varieties. "It was a different type of challenge for me because I've played a lot of very vocal characters," DiCaprio told Grantland. He goes on to state, "It's something that I really wanted to investigate - playing a character who says almost nothing. How do you relay an emotional journey and get in tune with this man's angst ... without words?"
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The development stalled until 2010, when Mark L. Smith wrote a new adaptation of the novel for Steve Golin's Anonymous Content. In May 2010 Smith revealed that John Hillcoat was attached to direct the film and that Christian Bale was in negotiations to star. Hillcoat left the project in October 2010. Jean-François Richet was considered to replace him, but Alejandro G. Iñárritu signed on to direct in August 2011.
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This is only the third movie - following The Informer (1935) and The Pianist (2002) - to have captured Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Director, yet which failed to win the Best Picture Award.
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The film ultimately made back nearly four times its $135 million budget, earning over $530 million worldwide.
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Joshua Burge, who plays "Stubby Bill," had never acted in film prior to 2010. His collaborations with director Joel Potrykus were reportedly seen by one of the casting directors, and he was asked to film an audition tape. Shortly after that he was flown to Canada for the duration of the shoot.
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At one point during the production, Tom Hardy became very concerned with some of the stunts he had to do, especially since the production was already pretty hectic and troubled. This caused friction and turmoil between him and director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. At one point, out of self-deprecation, Inarittu allowed Hardy to choke him out. The image was captured on camera and immortalized. After production wrapped, later on, Hardy gave T-shirts to all of the crew members of the image as gifts.
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This film marks the third time that Jacob Tomuri has worked as Tom Hardy's stunt double. The previous films were Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Legend (2015).
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In the script that was included in the 2007 Black List, Hugh Glass was black. The real Hugh Glass was white.
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Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, the most of any film in the 2016 Oscars for the year.
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In the film, Hikuc's name is never actually spoken of. However, his name is listed in the credits.
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu sees Hugh Glass as becoming "a man, a beast, a saint, a martyr, a spirit".
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The film is the second highest grossing Western of all time, behind Dances with Wolves (1990) in earning $183,637,894 million domestically.
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Out of his five Oscar-nominated performances, with this performance being his first win, this film marks the third time that Leonardo DiCaprio has appeared naked in his role at one point or another. The other two films are The Aviator (2004) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Coincidentally, he portrays a real life person in all three films.
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Days after its home video release, the film became one of the top selling DVD and Blu-ray releases as well as one of the top digital streaming films.
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Chan-wook Park was interested in directing an adaptation of the novel, and he wanted Samuel L. Jackson to star.
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Leonardo DiCaprio claimed the hardest physical ordeal of making the film was catching the flu multiple times during filming and having to soldier through filming outdoors in the cold.
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Hugh Glass has about 10 minutes of dialogue in the entire film.
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The bear attack scene is 3 minutes long.
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During one of the dream sequences, Hugh Glass is shown standing in front of a huge pile of buffalo skulls. This was inspired by an old photo that was found by production designer Jack Fisk. The picture is of a few men standing on a huge pile of buffalo skulls around 1850. During that period, the ordeal of the Native Americans was worsening even more due to growing societal antipathy. Fisk states, "At that time, the United States government encouraged people to kill buffalo, and it was a way to control the Indians. If they could take away their food source, then they could tell them where to live and move em' around. It was a horrible situation." He goes on to say, "In the film, for me, it signifies Hugh Glass [DiCaprio's character] seeing into the future. Those skulls represented the end of mankind as we knew it at that point."
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The film was the second Leonardo DiCaprio film released in China after Titanic (1997)'s 2012 3D release. However, it was the first DiCaprio film that was released with barely any edits made.
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Reunites Paul Anderson and Tom Hardy, who both starred in the British television series Peaky Blinders (2013) and the movie Legend (2015).
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu has said that his shooting of this film was influenced and inspired by Andrei Rublev (1966), Dersu Uzala (1975), Apocalypse Now (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972).
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Though Leonardo DiCaprio's first Oscar win for this film was very much celebrated, many felt that Tom Hardy should've won as well or instead. It was even argued that Hardy's performance was more compelling than DiCaprio's performance.
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The film was one of the most pirated films of 2016.
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Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu originally wanted a huge pile of human skulls to be showcased during one of the dream sequences. He intended for this to symbolize the future demise of the Native Americans in the film. Production designer Jack Fisk then showed Inarritu a photo from 1850 of men standing among a huge pile buffalo skulls and explained to him about the awful history of the Native Americans being deprived of their food source by the government. Inarritu decided to change the scene from human skulls to buffalo skulls in order to recreate the photo.
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Worldview Entertainment was originally set to fund the film but backed out in July 2014, due to the departure of CEO Christopher Woodrow. New Regency approached 20th Century-Fox for additional funding, but the company declined, citing the pay-or-play contracts made for both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
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The film is one of the highest grossing R rated films of all time with over $530 million worldwide.
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According to director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 97% of the film shoot is exteriors.
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Days after Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar win for this film, an anonymous artist made a giant mural of the actor holding his Oscar on a blank wall on LaBrea Avenue in the south of Hollywood, California. Alongside the mural, there's a text that says, "Never, Never Give Up". Eventually, the mural was removed. However, it was said that people were left inspired by the mural.
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In preparation for the mountain of buffalo skulls dream sequence, production designer Jack Fisk and set decorator Hamish Purdy searched around for 10,000 buffalo skulls which ended up proving to be very expensive. They managed to find a few skulls and used them to make five rubber molds to which a prop company injected the molds with Styrofoam and spray foam. They made 100 skulls in one day and mounted them on a frame that's made of wire and lightweight wood which is due to the crewmembers having to assemble the mountain in less than a day in order to obtain the right lighting for the shots that's scheduled to be filmed.
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy's second film together.
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According to visual effects supervisor Richard McBride, almost all of the animals shown in the film were CGI. These include the bear, the bear cubs, the elk, the wolves, and the buffalo herd.
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The ruined church in one of the dream sequences is made out of Styrofoam and decorated with frescoes.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Actor trademark (DiCaprio): Immersed in water. See also Romeo + Juliet (1996), Titanic (1997), The Beach (2000), Inception (2010), Shutter Island (2010), The Great Gatsby (2013), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
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The film stayed at the top spot for DVD and Blu-ray sales for about a month until Deadpool (2016) took its place. Coincidentally, both films are distributed by 20th Century Fox and are rated R. The Blu-ray releases of both films are also frequently purchased together on Amazon.com.
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This film was initially released on Christmas Day 2015 in limited theaters. The film's predecessor, Man in the Wilderness (1971), was released a few weeks after its theatrical release on Christmas Day 1971 at the historic Princess Theatre (named Klondike Theatre at the time).
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon were the only two 2016 Best Actor Oscar nominees who were also given nominations for Best Male Performance for the 2016 MTV Movie Awards for The Revenant (2015) and The Martian (2015), respectively. DiCaprio took home both awards.
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Jean-François Richet was considered to direct.
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Tom Hardy and Tom Guiry previously starred together 14 years earlier in Black Hawk Down (2001).
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At the end of the bear attack scene, a small bear cub can be seen looking over the cliff that the bear (and main character) fall down. The presence of cubs likely enhanced the bear's aggression.
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This film marks the second time that Christopher Hickson has worked as Leonardo DiCaprio's body double. The first time was for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
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The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects along with Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Martian (2015), Ex Machina (2014), and Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015). It lost to Ex Machina (2014). Moreover, Tom Hardy also starred in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and Domhnall Gleeson also starred in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) and Ex Machina (2014).
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Emmanuel Lubezki and Jack Fisk had previously collaborated on The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), To the Wonder (2012), and Knight of Cups (2015). They would go on to collaborate on Song to Song (2017). The four former films and the latter film are all directed by Terrence Malick. This film is the only film that Lubezki and Fisk had worked on together that wasn't directed by Malick.
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Jack Fisk had previously worked on The Thin Red Line (1998) and The New World (2005), which were directed by Terrence Malick. The two films were some of the heavy inspirations for this film. Fisk also worked with this film's cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, on the latter film.
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The trapper's boat was constructed with wood material around an aluminum hull and a 300-horsepower jet engine.
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There's a lot scenes when the only sound is the sound of Glass breathing, which ties into the movie's themes of survival. In his opening monologue, Glass tells his son to breathe and keep breathing. And when the movie ends, the last sound is Glass breathing
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One of the film's principal makeup artists, Sian Grigg, is a long-time makeup artist for Leonardo DiCaprio. The two have worked together since Titanic (1997). DiCaprio specifically requested Grigg to work on this film. He would later thank her in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Golden Globes.
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Some of the snow in some scenes were digitally added in.
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In the same year as this film, makeup artist Sian Grigg also worked on Ex Machina (2014).
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The cast and crew rehearsed for a month for the Arikara attack sequence at the beginning of the film.
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The film was accompanied by a 44-minute documentary called, "A World Unseen". It's a behind-the-scenes look at the film's production and it individually follows Forrest Goodluck, Duane Howard, and Arthur RedCloud talking about their cultures and the environment.
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This film and Man in the Wilderness (1971) are loosely based on incidents in the life of real trapper/mountain man Hugh Glass and each featured an actor who appeared in the Harry Potter movie series. Domhnall Gleeson, who portrays Captain Andrew Henry in this film, portrayed Bill Weasley in the final two Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Richard Harris, who portrayed Zachary Bass in Man in the Wilderness (1971), portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), before he passed away in late 2002 and was replaced by Michael Gambon for the rest of the series.
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Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter have each starred alongside John Boyega. Gleeson co-starred with Boyega in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). And Poulter co-starred with Boyega in Detroit (2017).
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Both this film and Inception (2010), both of which star Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Lukas Haas, each feature an avalanche scene towards the end of the movie.
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The film was leaked online a few days before its theatrical release.
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The bear attack scene doesn't happen until 20 minutes into the film.
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This is the first film that Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter had starred in together. The second film is The Little Stranger (2018).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The bear mauling scene was filmed with Leonardo DiCaprio being tugged side to side with cables.
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While the movie ends ambiguously as to Glass's fate, in reality he lived another ten years and died in an Arikara attack along the Yellowstone River.
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When Glass battles with the bear he initially injures it with a gunshot wound to its left side until finally defeating it with multiple stab wounds. This is mirrored in the final showdown with Fitzgerald in which Glass shoots him in his left shoulder but ultimately defeats him with a knife.
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Although inspired by true events (a trapper called Hugh Glass was in fact attacked by a bear and left for dead out in the open in the middle of the summer by two of his fellow trappers), the movie takes very extensive liberties with its depiction of these events. The two biggest and most crucial departures from reality may be the main character's motivation (since in reality the trappers never killed his son) and the ending (since the real Hugh Glass never took his revenge, but instead forgave the two trappers who left him for dead).
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The story goes that Hugh Glass did indeed hunt down the two men who left him for dead. However, he didn't kill either one of them, for very different reasons. He forgave Jim Bridger in person (who later became a hugely accomplished trapper in his own right) because of Bridger's youth and the fact that Fitzgerald had lied about how Glass was left for dead (this is reflected in the movie when Glass firmly tells the Captain that Bridger is not responsible for what happened to him). He only forgave Fitzgerald because A) the punishment for killing an active duty army soldier, which Fitzgerald still was when Glass confronted him, was death by hanging and B) he demanded and received his rifle back from Fitzgerald. At that point, Glass refused to speak to or acknowledge Fitzgerald and simply left the area immediately.
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The climactic fight between Glass and Fitzgerald was filmed in the southern tip of Argentina. Production had to be moved to the southern hemisphere where there was snow in July.
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Although Glass' fate is ambiguous at the end of the film, a popular theory holds that he lives; as shown by the sound of his breathing during the credits. Several times throughout the movie members of the Glass family say that "If you can grab breath, you can keep fighting."
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In the movie Hugh Glass is portrayed as being hostile to the French fur traders. However, in the novel, Glass is in fact assisted by the French in his travels to Fort Kiowa, although the majority of them were later slaughtered by the Arikara.
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The sign on the hanged Pawnee's body reads, "On est tous des sauvages," which means "We are all savages." Author Stephen Brumwell, in his book, "White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, And Vengeance in Colonial America," writes (p. 6) that the phrase "Nous sommes tout Sauvages" ["We are all savages"] was graffiti carved into a tree by a Canadian fur trader on the Illinois frontier during the 1680s.
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Glass didn't just get better after the grizzly attack, while tracking down Fitzgerald and Bridger to seek his revenge. He made his way, sometimes crawling, to the expedition's original jumping-off point, near what's now Chamberlain, South Dakota, far to the east of the attack site. He recovered over a period of months and only then started back west, searching for the two men who had left him.
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The story that Leonardo DiCaprio slept in the gutted carcass of an actual horse during the shoot was not true. Producer Steve Golin clarified this during a producers' round table interview with "The Hollywood Reporter", conducted by editors Stephen Galloway and Matt Belloni. In actuality, the sequence took about two hours to film, with DiCaprio inhabiting a prosthetic carcass.
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The only time Glass is shown smiling is during the snowflakes catching scene with Hikuc.
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The mountain man Jim Bridger is also referenced in another movie, Inglourious Basterds (2009). In that movie, Brad Pitt's character is said to be a descendant of the mountain man Jim Bridger.
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Although the film has Andrew Henry being killed by Fitzgerald, the real life Henry retired from the fur trading business in 1824 and lived until 1832.
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The plot is inspired by true events, but often barely follows them. Hugh Glass was attacked by a grizzly in August 1823 in an area now in north-northeast South Dakota, near the present town of Shadehill. There's even a Hugh Glass Recreation Area there. The area is slightly hilly, Great Plains prairie. That region is 2000-2500 feet above sea level, and the average temperatures in August vary from 55-90 degrees. The closest place with anything resembling a mountain is an overland direct-line trek of 130-150 miles, in the Black Hills. August temperatures there range from 55-85 degrees, and at 7000-8000 feet the Black Hills are nothing like the mountains in the movie. The nearest mountains remotely like the movie's are the Bighorns in Wyoming, which are almost 300 miles away and still have August temperatures in the 55- to 85-degree range. At the time Glass was attacked there wasn't any snow, no one was close to freezing and no one was anywhere near terrain like that shown in the film.
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Though this film and Man in the Wilderness (1971) are technologically shot and rendered in different formats, they have some similar cinematographic techniques. These include the uses of low angles, canted/Dutch Tilt angles, extreme long shots, handheld shots, and worm's eye view shots. Despite the differing tones, these techniques were used to give each film a visceral, mysterious, abstract and disoriented feel to express the main character's struggle for survival.
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Leonardo DiCaprio's third film that feature his character having dreams and illusions of his deceased wife. See also Inception (2010) and Shutter Island (2010). However, this time, his character had nothing to do with his wife's death.
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Whenever someone significant to Glass dies or is discovered dead, nature itself reacts. For example:
  • When Hawk is murdered, the trees shake and the wind grows erratic.
  • When Glass discovers Hikuc's hanging body, the air becomes still and even colder.
  • When Captain Henry's body is discovered by Glass, an avalanche happens.
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The scene where Hugh gets dressed after he gets himself out of the horse's carcass the morning after spending the night encased in it, he gently touches it as a sign of gratitude. As he walks away, he looks back at it for a few seconds. The horse belonged to his companion, Hikuc.
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Body Count: 138
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In the film, Hikuc used medicinal grass and herbs to treat Glass' wounds. In reality, Glass himself used maggots from a rotting tree bark to clean and heal the deep wounds on his back.
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One of the film's main themes is rebirth. Glass is seen throughout the film symbolically be reborn as a "new person".
  • Fitzgerald callously buried Glass in a somewhat shallow grave. A while afterward, Glass gathered all of his strength and willpower to crawl out of the grave.
  • After Glass became seriously ill, Hikuc treated his wounds with his medicinal methods and placed him in a hut to help him heal and to protect him from the snowstorm. The next morning, Glass emerges from the hut.
  • In order to protect himself from the storm and potentially threatening individuals, Glass cuts open Hikuc's deceased horse, removes the organs, removes his own clothing, and sleep inside. The next morning, he cracks open the carcass and gets out.
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In the film, Hugh Glass is shown as hostile towards the French fur traders. The reason behind his hostility is due to the French murdering his companion, Hikuc, as evidenced by the French sign around his body, the close proximity of their camp near the hanging body, and seeing Hikuc's horse along with the other horses in the camp.
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Early in the movie, it becomes apparent that Fitzgerald has previously been a victim to at least a partial scalping. He confirms that in a discussion later with Jim Bridger. Finally, a group of Ree Natives finishes the job while killing him at the film's conclusion.
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In one of his dreams, Hugh sees a dead body of a woman, with badly wounded head, bleeding profoundly and submerged under the strong current of a creek. That's how Fitzgerald is ultimately left after he's killed.
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See also

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