How do you follow up a Best Picture winner like Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)? In Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s case, it seems, you maintain the camera trickery but change just about everything else, including genre and setting. The first trailer for The Revenant, out this Christmas, suggests a brutal but brilliantly staged thriller, one that reverberates with classic themes of human survival against all odds – and that looks pretty spectacular.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as legendary explorer Hugh Glass, who is mauled by a bear and abandoned by members of his own hunting party during an expedition into the uncharted American wilderness during the 1820s. Slowly regaining his strength, Glass embarks down a dark path of vengeance, determined to survive long enough to take revenge on those who betrayed him.
Everything about this teaser screams Oscar, from the gritty, committed performances from DiCaprio and Tom Hardy (as the subject of Glass’ wrath) to the jaw-droppingly immersive direction and spot-on set design. Mark L. Smith and Iñárritu co-wrote the script, based in part on the novel by Michael Punke, so another nomination could come from there, too.
The Revenant opens at Christmas. Here’s the official synopsis:
Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. THE REVENANT is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel).