Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is known for telling harrowing, multi-character stories of epic despair. Inarritu’s most recent feature, Biutiful, was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Foreign Film and Best Actor for star Javier Bardem, yet was disliked by this writer for being so inescapably bleak.
Unfortunately, the director is not leaving the bleakness behind anytime soon as his next film promises to be as grim and harrowing as any of his previous efforts. The director of Babel and 21 Grams has signed on to Warner Brothers’ adaptation of the Michael Punke novel The Revenant.
The Revenant tells the story of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper in the 1800’s on a frontier expedition with his friend and Captain, Andrew Henry and two other men, John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger. When Glass is attacked by a bear and left with what look to be mortal wounds Henry wants to drag his friend back to civilization but the terrain proves too difficult. Henry tasks Fitzgerald and Bridger with waiting for Glass to die so they can give him a proper burial.
Instead of sticking around, Fitzgerald and Bridger rob the dying man and take off. Unfortunately for the thieves, Glass proves more resilient than anyone imagined and when he somehow survives he begins a cross country trek to get revenge on the men who left him to die. FYI, according to folklore, the Revanent is an animated corpse.
Is that story perfect for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu or what? Only John Hillcoat, director of The Road and The Proposition, would be as good a choice for this material. Mark L. Smith wrote the adaptation of The Revenant. Smith’s only well known credit is the horror/thriller Vacancy in 2007.
Now, attention turns to casting The Revenant. Hugh Glass is a meaty role; he’s described by Punke as 36 years old and having been on his own since he was 16. Glass had spent a year as prisoner of an Indian tribe and has a lot of great back story to play. I could see Brad Pitt as Hugh Glass; Pitt and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu worked well together on Babel. Viggo Mortensen would also be a solid choice; Viggo proved his grit in The Road and looked good in the period setting of Apaloosa.
Who do you see in the role of Hugh Glass?
The Revenant is still aways away from going into production but we will keep you posted as casting begins.