[Warning: This trailer contains MILD SPOILERS for The Revenant.]
Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is already shaping up to be one of the must-see 2015 awards season releases for movie buffs – and not just because it’s the director’s followup to his multi-Oscar winning project, Birdman. The Revenant has already prompted many a comparison to the best works of Terrence Malick and Werner Herzog, as well as certain landmark films about life on the unsettled American frontier of the 19th century (like Jeremiah Johnson), based on the teaser trailer footage previously released by 20th Century Fox.
Fox has now unveiled a full-length trailer for The Revenant, which features a small (but reputable) cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina). Be warned, though: the latest theatrical preview dives deeper into the film’s narrative, in the process revealing one key plot point that some might not want to know ahead of when they sit down to watch the actual movie.
The Revenant tells a semi-factual, semi-fictionalized story about real-life 19th century mountain man Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), partly based on Michael Punke’s book “The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge”. Glass, during an expedition in an uncharted northern region of the U.S., is attacked by a bear and left on the verge of death, only to be betrayed and left for dead by John Fitzgerald (Hardy), the least loyal member of Glass’ hunting team. However, Glass manages to survive this terrible ordeal and sets after Fitzgerald and the others seeking revenge (and maybe even redemption), even with such obstacles in his way as the natural elements and local Native Americans who see Glass and his kind as threats.
The second trailer for The Revenant further illustrates the film’s unique look after the recent release of several official stills, better showing off the gorgeous visuals crafted by Iñárritu and his Oscar-winning Birdman director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki. As it were, Lubezki – who won his first Academy Award for his work on director Alfonso Cuarón’s ground-breaking 3D space drama/thriller Gravity – has provided the cinematography for a number of Malick films, including the director’s own historical drama, The New World. So, in that regard, the comparisons between The Revenant and Malick’s own filmography are all the more fitting.
Iñárritu’s The Revenant gets it unique glossy aesthetic and color palette from the way the movie was shot – namely, on location in the frosty Canadian wilderness and by only using natural light. This approach resulted in the film’s production running much longer than originally expected, forcing Hardy to bow out of Suicide Squad and giving rise to numerous rumors and stories about Iñárritu putting his cast and crew through all sorts of misery. Be those rumors accurate or not, it’s hard to argue that the final movie result isn’t a beautifully photographed drama that explores some dark emotional territory.
On the other hand, Iñárritu’s detractors tend to find his films too self-serious and focused on wallowing in misery for their own good. The Revenant isn’t likely to change anyone’s minds about the filmmaker either, given the subject matter and tone that the movie is clearly aiming for. Nevertheless, Iñárritu is very much a critical darling and there’s little reason to doubt that his take on Hugh Glass’ story won’t at least get some awards recognition for its technical qualities. Who knows, maybe this will be the film that lands DiCaprio the Best Actor Oscar at last.
The Revenant begins an Oscar-qualifying limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 25th, 2015; it expands nation-wide on January 8th, 2016.
Source: 20th Century Fox