‘The Grey’ Director Talks Characters, Locations And Protesters

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The Grey Movie Interview Liam Neeson The Grey Director Talks Characters, Locations And Protesters

Starring Oscar-nominee Liam Neeson, The Grey isn’t really a typical film about a group of rugged men fighting against the forces of nature. The movie’s marketing may make it look like a film about a pack of wolves devouring a group of plane-crash survivors, but the story is about something more than survival of the fittest. It’s about a group of men coming to grips with who they are, and their own mortality. In a recent interview, we spoke to director Joe Carnahan about his new film and why some people are so riled up about it.

Most of The Grey takes place after a plane crash leaves a few men isolated in the harsh world of the Alaskan wilderness. These characters each have their own archetypical personalities: One is sensitive, another is religious, etc. – and the alpha male of the group (Neeson) is mournful about a woman he still loves.

When asked which character he related to the most, Carnahan suggested that he related to all of them, and that is why the film carries such significance.

“You’re all those things.” he said about the qualities embodied by each character. “The part of me that’s sensitive is the Henrick character. The part of me that loves my kids is the Talget character.” He added, “I don’t think you’re capable of making a really great film unless… you can invest [in] all the characters kind of who you are as a man.”

The film (which is based on Ian MacKenzie Jeffers’ short story, “Ghost Walker”) was co-written by Carnahan and Jeffers. The partnership worked for both men. “Ian and I have been friends for a long time,” Carnahan said, noting that the story had a “raw-based simplicity” that appealed to him. Of course, some things about the short story were changed for the film adaptation.

Liam Neeson Grey Movie The Grey Director Talks Characters, Locations And Protesters

Liam Neeson as 'Ottway' in 'The Grey'

The original story, Carnahan said, features “quite a different ending” but the director said that he found a “real emotional climax in that film and anything that came after it would feel… tacked on.”

Not everything was changed, though, and the director sought to ensure that the film felt real for viewers. He did that partially by having most of the film shot outdoors in Smithers, British Columbia. In regards to the shooting location, Carnahan says that he was trying to make the film say “something about survival and something about the human spirit and I just didn’t think we could accomplish that if we were on a soundstage in 80-degree weather…”

In addition to the brutal cold weather that the characters face in the story, a pack of wolves confronts the characters and several fight sequences occur between man and nature. In the process, both men, and some of the wolves are killed. Of course, some animal activists are a little bit upset about the depiction of wolves in the film.

Liam Neeson The Grey Movie The Grey Director Talks Characters, Locations And Protesters

Carnahan said that he’s received some pushback from activists but said “to what end, I don’t know.” About the protestors and those who have signed online petitions not to see the movie, the director said that it would be “really nice if you’re boycotting something you’d seen.”

We also spoke about the Irish-born Neeson, who starred in Carnahan’s big-budget blockbuster, The A-Team. Recent news accounts have suggested that the studio may re-release Carnahan’s film later this year to try to snag an Oscar nomination for the star of Schindler’s List.  As the director noted, Neeson is “remarkable” and “saves everything for the screen.”

You can see for yourself when The Grey opens this Friday, January 27th nationwide.

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  1. Where would we be without activists? Some people just have too much time on their hands.

    • And some people just don’t think at all about portraying an animal as a “monster” when the reality is there are NO documented cases of such an attack happening EVER. Go ahead though and help spread myth that makes wolves go ever closer to extinction.

      • The reason there are no documented cases is because no one survives.. I thought wolves were making a great cime back. They thrive in my area.

      • google is an amazing tool. all you have to do is type whatever you want, such as “wolf attacks” and viola’! all kinds of documentation, which you claim doesnt exist, is right there! yes, i know that not everything on the ‘net is true, but the flipside of that is that not everything on the ‘net is false either.

      • Not true. There are lots of cases of wolf attacks. They are rare now that numbers are down and most are consigned to preserves. Russia still has wolf attacks. It is true that most species of wolves would rather shy away from humans but to say “NEVER” is not true either. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2007/11/01/wolf-verdict.html

      • There are no documented cases of the Joker actually killing anyone either but it makes a great movie. Fiction.

      • i just wanted to say that yes it was wrong to portray wolves as savages i love wolves and im currently studying them. but as of cases like these its not unlikely that animals do go the drastic measure to ensure pack safety. also sir think about it cases havent been documented for there were no survivors. animals become aggressive when they feel threaten. people like you bother me.

      • Comcast news has an article today about wolves in a zoo who attacked and killed an experienced zookeeper in Stokholm. So I’m guessing attacks can happen.

  2. So the director says “it would be really nice if you boycotted something you’ve seen”…how can they boycott a movie if they went to see it…does he not know what “boycott” means?

    • You do realize his meaning is that how can you boycott this movie without actually seeing it. It is a to say give the movie a chance before you shoot it down with ridicule.

  3. I think the “WY” on that guys hat stands for Weyland Yunati.

    At least i’d like to think so. ^-^

    • Alien refderence awesome… Liam Neeson should be in aliens movie!!!

  4. People
    Eating
    Tasty
    Animals

    • Hopefully you will accept this, my email is correct, The wolf’s purpose is the cull the ranks of the prey animal, so that only the best and strongest survive, ala Darwin. If you had seen The Way Back, last year where the starving gulag escapees steal a dead deer from some wolves,you would know they do not like a confrontation with humans. Every canine on earth is a decendant of wolves[ look it up] so somewhere in the stone ago, we must have got along with them.

  5. Its a movie, wolves don’t attack people, we all know this.
    If anyone is stupid enough to be inspired to attack wolves based on this movie, they’re insane and need help.
    Please stop protesting a movie when the world is full of real environmental, economic and political injustices.

  6. love a good killer animal film if the story is strong, plot is good, and has good character development. also making the animals look vicious and good effects help.

  7. The upcoming release of Liam Neeson’s new film “The Grey” has many wolf conservationists, animal rights groups and thousands of concerned citizens like myself quite concerned about this movie and what it might do to wolf recovery efforts and the fate of wolves like OR-7 – the first wild wolf to re-enter California in over 90 years.

    Why?
    The movie grossly mischaracterizes wolves as blood thirsty, territorial hunters of humans and the plot makes it look as if the humans are being hunted and pursued by killer wolves as they desperately fight for their survival.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. Millions of wolves have been murdered by humans in the past while it is questionable if even a single human has been killed by a healthy wild wolf in North America in the time that records of such events have been kept.
    Nevertheless, people, particularly those in many western states have an irrational fear of wolves and this paranoia is likely to be exacerbated by the release of The Grey. In fact it isn’t hard to imagine that an anti-wolf zealot, incited by the film will take it upon himself to hunt and perhaps kill OR-7 or other wolves that are only just beginning to reestablish themselves in their former range.
    Further, the federal delisting process — which most wolf experts believe is taking place prematurely — is likely to be accelerated by the kind of propaganda created by this movie. It is also possible that this film will increase anti-wolf sentiment across the country and this may result in an increased demand for permits to hunt the few wolves that have begun to re-colonize the lower 48 as well as those that thrive in Alaska.
    Beyond this, it has come to the attention of the media that in an effort to “get the cast into the proper survival mindset” director Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe on twitter) procured a wolf carcass ( http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/01/… ) which he had his cast consume in preparation for the film – an apparent attempt at method acting.
    Many organizations have expressed their outrage at the movie itself and the actions of its cast and crew and I join them in denouncing this grotesque distortion of one of natures most intelligent and important apex predators, as well as for their decision to consume such an inappropriate meal for no legitimate reason.
    PETA has already written about this issue, so has Ecorazzi.com and numerous other sites that are universally appalled by this film and the actions of its director and cast. I hope you’ll help spread the word and support me and others like me in an effort to show Hollywood that they have a greater responsibility to the people, our planet and all living things.

    I hope that everyone that reads this will help me and others like me to promote a boycott of this movie. Already over 5500 concerned citizens have expressed their opinion on this issue by signing the petition I helped start at Care2.com (link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4… ),
    Please express your distaste for this movie and the actions of its cast and crew and encourage anyone that cares about animals, truth and the environment to vote with their dollars and spend them on other less damaging forms of entertainment.

    To keep updated on this issue, please follow me on Twitter: @owstarr. You can also let the film’s director know how you feel about his movie and meal choices by contacting him through twitter: @carnojoe, via Liam Neeson’s hashtag : #LiamNeeson or directly to the film’s PR: @TheGreyMovie

    Thanks for reading this and taking action to help preserve and protect the wolf.
    Boycott “The Grey” For Its Harmful Depictions of Wolves!

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com
    Boycott “The Grey” For Its Harmful Depictions of Wolves! signatures: deadline: ongoing signature goal: 10,000 Target: Open Road Films Sponsored by: Bryan F. Director Joe Carnahan’s new movie “The G…

    • Have you seen the movie? You make many claims that need to be backed up by specific evidence. You can’t make those kind of claims just from seeing the trailer. If you’ve seen the movie, fair enough. The website you cite as a source for the story that Liam Neeson and the cast ate wolf meet is a third party source. It’s not acceptable to use third party sources to back up claims.

      I understand you care about animals. I do too. There are too many people all over the world that treat animals without the respect they deserve. But I really think you are delegitimizing your cause by creating unnecessary ruckus over the depiction of wolves in a fictional piece of work. It’s not real. Do I have to explain freedom of speech and the first amendment to you? The wolves are a plot device. I don’t know if you have any knowledge about writing, but the depiction of the wolves is not meant to educate people on their true nature. If you don’t want to see wolves depicted as “blood thirsty, territorial hunters of humans,” I understand, don’t see the movie. But don’t pretend that wolves are some kind of harmless creature trying to peacefully coexist with all other animals, including humans, around them. This is also a gross mischaracterization. I’m sorry but wolves are animals with cognitive function that does not allow for contemplation of the ethics of killing other animals. They kill other animals to stay alive. They’re not domesticated house cats.

      There are several problems with your post:

      “while it is questionable if even a single human has been killed by a healthy wild wolf in North America in the time that records of such events have been kept.”

      This is not true, one of many examples:
      http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/wolves-killed-alaska-teacher-2010-state-says

      “Nevertheless, people, particularly those in many western states have an irrational fear of wolves and this paranoia is likely to be exacerbated by the release of The Grey.”

      Your idea of the effects of this movie on the general public is incredibly hyperbolic. You have no evidence to back up this claim.

      “In fact it isn’t hard to imagine that an anti-wolf zealot, incited by the film will take it upon himself to hunt and perhaps kill OR-7 or other wolves that are only just beginning to reestablish themselves in their former range.”

      This is an appeal to probability, which is a logical fallacy.

      Also, have you ever heard of or met an ‘anti-wolf zealot?’

      Pick your battles my friend. Creating false commotion is disingenuous.
      I’m just really worried that people’s priorities are boycotting this movie. There are much bigger things going on. People in Syria are being shot in the street for expressing their desire for democracy. Isn’t something like this more important?

      Also to Vic:
      I’m sorry if my post is too long, or if it violates the code of conduct. I understand if you cannot post it.

      Best.

      • @Jim, yours is the first rational response I have read. I also am pro-animal, but I have seen so many irrational comments regarding this movie. I love wolves, they are gorgeous creatures, and yes, they have been mistreated and hunted to the point of near destruction based on mostly fears. But to jump to so many conclussions based on this one movie is ridiculous. How about Jaws? Talk about extreme mischaracterization! How about Planet of the Apes? How about Orca? Its Hollywood. I dont like movies that animals get killed in, and neither do I like that they ate wolf meat to “get into character” but there are just so many hyped up activists out there spreading emotional rants instead of facts, I simply cant stand for that injustice. They demean their causes and are counter-productive to their efforts when they put their emotion in front of facts. You are correct, Jim, when you say there are many more real life issues to worry over, than to theorize about what may be based on a Hollywood film.

  8. Wolves attack other animals. It’s the way nature functions. Humans have been attack by wolves, because humans are also animals of the planet earth. Also, it’s a movie, it’s not real, take a breath, you’re going to be okay.

    Jesus Christ animal activists, pick your battles. This is a movie. There was a man in England who was just recently arrested for starving farm animals for years. Maybe you should focus on things like that instead? I understand where they are coming from, but it just seems like there are worse things happening to animals outside of this movie, and their attention is required in those places.

    • sorry: attacked* by wolves. I should have proofread more carefully

  9. Wolves arr awesome but seriously people its a movie lighten up

  10. Guys, what’s the point of having comments if you’re going to censor those that respectfully disent from your opinion?

    • I found one of your comments and published it, as I explained in my email to you. Multiple links flag a comment as spam.

      Vic

  11. WIth respect to my comment above concerning humans killed by wolves please note I said “questionable if a healthy wild wolf” There is dispute about two issues here – one that it was a definite wolf kill. While the coroner’s jury may have come to their verdict, this does not dispel all doubt amongst biologists. Further I don’t believe that anyone has presented evidence that the animal(s) that attacked Kent were free of a disease that might have contributed to their possible aggression.

    Nevertheless, even if the two deaths that *could* have been caused by wolves were in fact actual wolf kills the scorecard is lopsided. Humans have killed millions of wolves — how many humans have wolves killed. In fact the operative term to describe the human war against wolves is eradication. In the United States humans had, at one time, caused the complete extinction of wolves in all but two states.

    Everyplace that humans reside, wolves pay the ultimate price.

    Further, new evidence has recently come to like that The Grey director, Joe Carnahan, has repeatedly lied to the press and the public about what really transpired with the wolves and his movie. According to website dogactors.com they have been able to confirm that a trapper was hired to live-trap four wolves for the film and that at least two of the animals were killed and consumed by the cast. This differs considerably from Joe’s statements the media that “the trapper had a six month old wolf carcass in his freezer that was purchased and consumed”.

    Also, according to dogactors.com “When asked about a scene where a wolf is killed on film and its body is thrown into a field the staff did not confirm nor deny if it was a real wolf that was killed or a fake one.”

    If true, and I have asked Joe Carnahan via twitter if it was with no response, this is an abomination and would be a criminal act had it been committed in the US. Finally it has come to light that the film did not comply with Humane Society of the US requirements that a HSUS animal welfare monitor be on site to make certain that no animals were harmed or mistreated in the making of this movie. In fact, it has also been confirmed that no professional animal trainers, trained animals or professional handlers were on set lending further credence to the assertion that wild wolves were used in the making of this movie.

    From the perspective of people that care about and understand wolves, it seems that it was the humans involved in this movie, and not the wolves that are the very real monsters and are the ones that deserve at a minimum our scorn and revulsion.

    Please, please, if you’re someone that cares about animals, don’t pay to see this abomination of a film. Do not reward animal cruelty or the senseless killing of wild animals merely for entertainment and the pursuit of the dollar.

    If you wish to let the director know how you feel about this film, you can message him via twitter @carnojoe. To send messages directly to the film’s facebook account, please use @thegreymovie

    • This is scary.

      You claim that not all biologists are convinced they were wolf attacks. That’s fine, it doesn’t matter. ALL biologists will agree that it is at least a remote possibility. And that is all that it takes to make a movie such as this one plausible.

      Movies are not about events that happen everyday to everyone. They are about unusual and extraordinary circumstances. Wolfs can potentially attack humans. That is a fact no biologist would deny. Period.

      Every other argument you made contains exactly zero proof. You hear two sides of a story (such as where the wolf meat came from), and you automatically assume guilt. That is not how this country works.

      If I was going to start claiming that you murder baby kittens, and you claim that you didn’t.. would you expect people to believe me without any proof? Obviously not. The same is true here.

      Absence of denial does not mean proof. Especially when the means is something like Twitter, where the accused gets literally hundreds of questions and comments on a daily basis. He cannot be required to respond individually to everything. He’s said his side, if you don’t believe it the burden is on you to prove it, not him to prove his innocence.

      And that is the fact: You cannot prove that a single animal was harmed in the making of this film. You cannot even prove that the Wolves have been falsely represented in this film, because you haven’t seen it.

      The fact remains that this is a fictional movie, and nothing more. Examine your priorities, and focus them where they could actually have meaningful impact.

    • You should really double check your information instead of just taking it from an activist website. First, having taken multiple courses in forensic science I can tell you that a wolf attack would innevitably leave saliva and other DNA sources which would be very easy to distinguish from human and identify as wolf DNA. These same DNA sources can be used to determine whether or not the animal was diseased so really there isn’t a slight chance that they were attacks by healthy wolves, there is a slight chance that they were missidentified. Second, the wolves in the movie were all either CG’ed or animatronics and therefore a HSUS monitor was not required. Third, nobody with even the slightest conscern for their wellbeing is giong to hire a trapper to catch live wolves just so that the actors in their film can get into character better (I’m sure that the frezzing weather would do that just fine) but if a trapper already has a dead wolf then there is really no harm done. Fourth and finally, all animals need food to survive; wolves are predators and for predators, food is any creature that is unnable to prevent an attack (sometimes multiple attacks) and is able to provide ample sustinance (excuse my spelling). Now, it is true that usually wolves avoid people BUT lets say it has been a bad season for these wolves, they are hungry, to add to this a plane full of people just showed up in their territory, those people shouldn’t be there and, you know what? They look pretty tastey. See where I’m going with this?

  12. Jim- I’ve met many many anti wolf zealots. I come from a family that fed and ran cattle and was born in Denver, Colorado. Even today there are more wolf zealots that would like nothing more than to see the wolf extinct.

  13. There is such a thing called “suspension of disbelief.” Basically, consumers of fiction must temporarily ban their tendency to view things as being unrealistic in order to enjoy a film, book, etc. Soemtimes, if a movie largely presents itself as realistic, and a viewer notices a logical error, it can damage the viewer’s ability to properly suspend disbelief and enjoy the movie. However, if a movie, such as “The Grey” works to establish it’s own system of logic (i.e. killer wolves hunting man), one cannot reasonably fault it for not being realistic.
    Some movies are more concerned with the exploration of ideas rather than the presentation of physically realistic events and images. “The Grey” seeks to explore masculinity and mortality by pitting men against primitive forces. In this case, the primitive forces happen to be wolves. Would this happen in real life? Probably not. But this is not real life; it is a fictional film.
    The reality of the issue is that, regardless of the probability of it happening, humans have always been afraid of wolves on a deep, cultural level. There are countless fairy tales that use the archetype of a wolf as a symbolic stand-in for fears of rape, loss of virginity/innocence, violence, etc. In “The Grey,” wolves are used to represent man’s fear of mortality, and perhaps to draw attention to the animalistic nature of all humans. Whether or not wolves would behave so violently in the wild in real life is completely irrelevant.

  14. Another untrue “fact” posted a couple of times here is that wolves are endangered. While there are areas in the world that have low populations of wolves, as a species, they are actually quite abundant. So much so that Canada has recently listed them as a big game species available for hunting. In Alaska, where hunters are allowed a bag limit of just one brown bear per year, they can harvest up to 10 wolves per year. Hardly statistics that would point to the species being “close to extinction”.
    But I have to keep coming back to the one common thread here: It’s a MOVIE people. RELAX! Hell, the wolves in it aren’t even real. They’re CGI.

  15. Rick you’re mistaken on several fronts. Globally wolves are considered an endangered species. They have been exterminated from a massive percentage (in some cases up to 90% of their prior range) while it is true that they aren’t protected everywhere, they are hardly abundant in comparison to their prior numbers.

    Secondly four wolves were slaughtered to make the film. Two as props two as a meal. Here’s the link: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/66108788.html?thread=11414287732 straight from Dick McDiarmid (the jerk trapper that procured the wolves — may he rot in hell for what he does).

    :

    • @owstarr – will you also protest the usage of whales in Big Miracle and the usage of primates in Chimpanzee?

      Paul Young

      • well seeing as how PETA has something against horseback riding (HORSEBACK RIDING! seriously!) im pretty sure he does.

        • @owstarr- I an compelled to respond to your “jerk trapper” and “rot in hell” comment about the trapper who supplied the dead wolves for the movie people. He just recently died, and I found your uninformed comments while trying to google search his name for some funeral information. Dick (the trapper) was anything but a jerk – he was a kind and very ethical man. Contrary to what you believe, none of the wolves involved were killed for the movie – they had already been trapped well before the movie was being filmed, and were being stored in a deep freeze until they could be processed. I believe that several of them had been previously trapped as part of a BC government regulated predator control progam that is provided for area farmers/ranchers that are losing livestock to predators. Dick was called in to trap some specific problem wolves as part of that program well before the movie was filmed. Somehow the movie people found out about him and offered to buy the frozen wolves he had in his freezer – he didn’t make much beyond the going fur market price for them either. The man was just a trapper trying to make a meager living, not the rogue you made him out to be. Hope you do some research before you readily throw your opinion out there in the future.

  16. Paul — not familiar with those films please send me links and I’d be glad to respond to your question.

    • @owstarr – Big Miracle is based on the true story of 3 whales being trapped in Alaska and the efforts locals put in to get them to freedom. Actual whales were used in the making of the film. Chimpanzee comes out on Earth Day, was produced by Disney, and follows a little chimp in the wild who is left behind by his family then “adopted” by a male chimp who raises him as his own. It is a true story told which the viewer gets to watch unfold.
      Where were the protests Domino, the actual dolphin, plays herself in the movie A Dolphin Tale? What about Water for Elephants where real elephants are shown on screen? How about Cujo – you know the Saint Bernard that terrorizes a mother and her child. Was there any outcry when Old Yeller was shot or what about The Birds? Did anyone cry “fowl” then (heh sorry).?

      My point is that any scene involving animals is closely watched by the American Humane Society and has been since 1940. If wolves were actually killed then eaten on set then you need to protest the organization who sat idly by and not only allowed it to happen but sat on set and turned a blind eye to it.

      All this crying wolf ( heh, I did it again) by animal rights activists get a bit cumbersome to listen to.

      Paul

  17. Perhaps if the Producer and Director of the film would think things over they would realize two things: 1) wolves are not monsters and our wildlife needs to be protected 2) the cast eating wolf meat has a lot to do with those who will not see the film. There was no reason to eat wolf except someone thought it was a cool idea, not a way to get into character. To get into character one does not have to do everything they portray. If that were the case many actors would be in prison for murder, rape, and a sundry of other crimes that actor portray all the time.

  18. Paul, did you not read the entire comment thread? There were NO (as in none) HSUS monitors on set. They had no oversight of any kind from any animal welfare organization.

    • @owstarr – Then like I said that is on Humane Society. Obviously whatever they did on set wasn’t illegal or they would have been fined or arrested.

      Paul Young

  19. This was reported by NBC News… “In a small southwest Alaska village where natives have forever lived side-by-side with wild animals, the fatal mauling of a schoolteacher by wolves has shattered an uneasy co-existence.

    Now, villagers in Chignik Lake say, parents are keeping an extra-close eye on their children and residents make sure to take their rifles and guns when they venture outdoors.”

    My feeling is that for the most part protesters are people that have never even been out in the wilderness. The real wilderness…not just 50 feet from their car or motor home. Yes, it is true that when you are out there they see you long before you see them and for the most part we are not a part of their food group. But given the right circumstances, they will kill man because we are easy prey.

    Fly over southeastern Canada and you will see more empty land than you could ever imagine. Wolfs have plenty of land to live on and plenty of food available to them. But when they come close to and threaten man, then we are justified to kill them just like they would kill us to protect their young and territory. Like it or not, that is the way nature works. Let see you “protesting” calling for the wolves to “pay ” for the death they caused.

  20. I’ve already addressed this Alaska attack. There are many factors that have been overlooked by the media… these include the possibility that the animals that attacked this woman were not pure wolves but were wolf-dog hybrids that had been released and were subsisting in part upon refuse from the village, and whom had much less fear of people than pure, feral wolves.

    Even then there is still some doubt as to whether this was an actual incident of wolves killing a human or whether some other predator, such as a bear, was involved. Since no one actually witnessed what occurred, the “verdict” can never be conclusively proved or disproved.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s say it was wolves. Ok… that makes for two…yep, count them… two (assuming that the British Columbian incident was also caused by wolves) humans killed by wolves since records have been kept in North America. To put this in perspective bee stings kill more people in North America every month. You’re more likely to be killed in a plane crash, by a deer, by a cow, a domestic dog or struck by lightning.

    Meanwhile we have killed wolves with cyanide, strychnine, explosive devices, traps, snares, pit-traps, poisoned bait and even biological weapons (wolves have been trapped, infected with mange and then released in a successful effort to infect other wolves with mange). In fact, the only animals that humans have treated worse than wolves are other humans!

    We’ve killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of an animal that was here before we were. We’ve decimated the species upon which they feed in many places (anyone ever seen wild bison outside of Yellowstone?) We give away BLM lands to ranchers for ridiculously little per head per month – so little in fact that they have almost no incentive to do more than minimal management of their animals. They are further incentivized to quite literally “cry wolf” because in many states the same ranchers that have done the least possible effort to avoid wolf predation on cattle are compensated for losses that may have been caused by wolves.

    We have quite literally set the wolf up to fail. We encroach upon their habitat, replace their natural prey with a stupid, slow moving substitute, we give ranchers every reason NOT to take reasonable steps to protect their livestock and then we complain when a very few wolves take advantage of an opportunity we hand them on a silver platter. In fact what’s really surprising is not that wolves take cattle, but that so few wolves take cattle given the fact that we’ve made it almost absurdly easy for them to do so.

    And for those folks that have commented above that people anthropomorphize wolves, I’ve studied wildlife biology, canid ethology and predator prey relations. I’ve worked in Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho and the Rockies, currently live adjacent (as in my property backs) to 15000 acres of open space inhabited by bear, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, fox, etc., have extensive wilderness survival expertise including high altitude winter survival training AND my family had one of the largest cattle operations in Colorado until the mid seventies when the crash in beef prices caused us to sell our business. In other words, I know all sides of this argument well, know what predators are really like and see the wolf for exactly what it is.

    The persecution of the wolf is largely driven by unreasoned fear and misunderstanding and my objections to this film relate first to the fact that anything that reinforces inaccurate propaganda – even something fictional – can impact public perception and give those with an agenda bent on destruction of the wolf even more ammunition. Secondarily the grotesque actions of Joe Carnahan and his cast both by using actual wolf carcasses as a prop for this film and even worse by their decision to have a chef prepare wolf stew (which as one friend who’s father knew the creator of the method school of acting, Constantin Stanislavski, put it “would have caused the man to roll over in his grave”) to help them “get into character.

    The arguments in favor of this film presented here are specious at best and ignorant and irresponsible at worst. I am both knowledgeable and informed on this topic and I have yet to see a single cogent defense articulated above that presents even the tiniest shred of credible support for a film that even the director admits fictionalizes the behavior of wolves. Please, people, before you come out in support of something that is so technically inaccurate, at least spend more than five minutes on Google and learn that the plural of wolf is wolves, not wolfs.

    Finally – to Paul – had they shot in the US they would have been fined and possibly arrested. The film was shot on location in and near Smithers, BC thus they were outside US jurisdiction, hence no arrests. HSUS did offer to provide oversight but apparently their overtures were either ignored or rejected. Finally, several other wolf groups had been in communication with the film but when they viewed an advanced screening of the film all pulled their support and initiated protests. This was before the news of the destruction of four wolves for the film were released which resulted in condemnation of the director, the cast and the film itself by every single animals rights group and anyone that respects nature and the right for every creature to exist without undue persecution or torture for the sake of entertainment.

    • I’ve made every argument that I can about how acurate the wolves in the movie are so I’m not going to get into that, all I am going to say is that the movie wasn’t about the wolves, and it wasn’t supposed to be, the movie was, as was stated in the article, about the characters coming to terms with their own mortality. Furthermore, the wolves in the movie are depicted as being “bloodthirsty savages” (I personally think that the word villain works better here) because it is told from the perspective of the people being “hunted”.

  21. I’m spewing logic again, I just thought that it was important to mention that it doesn’t matter which direction you are in, for or against animal rights, radicals are dangerous either way. Don’t believe me? There were multiple cases in which a group of catholic radicals bombed abortion clinics because they went against their religious beliefs. You’ll find several articles about it if you google it. It is also worth while to look up the different things done by anonomous (I probably mispelled that) hackers aren’t always bad guys.

  22. “sarge”, if you expect to be taken seriously at least do the people whose comments you are attacking the justice of reading their comments. Your remarks are specious. I’ve already detailed the questions about the attacks. In any event there are TWO possible attacks. Even if both are caused by wolves, you’d still be safer in wolf country from wolves than from lightening. You can’t say the same about almost anything else. Cars. more dangerous. Domestic dogs, much more dangerous. Idiots like you… even more dangerous. You spread disinformation. I think you’re smart enough to know your being intellectually dishonest. If so there’s no use in spending more time arguing with you since you’re just being a troll. And if you’re not being intellectually dishonest, well, then I probably can’t help you anyway.

    And Linda, a report of captive wolves attacking someone is vastly different in every possible way from truly wild, free living wolves attacking a person. Wolves and any large canid can hurt a person. Dogs do it every day. A captive wolf must be treated with respect, it has no where to go which means its only alternative if threatened is to protect itself. When a wolf is not restrained, it has no reason to attack a human. We aren’t food. We’re a threat to be avoided.

  23. Brian, I appreciate your comments. At the time I wrote the comment to which you are referring I spent a good amount of time trying to get more information about McDiarmid and to even reach him to ask specific questions. I never received responses. As a result, I wrote based upon the information I received from others closer to the situation than I was. These accounts conflict.

    As for your opinion about whether McDiarmid was a kind or ethical man, we all have choices about how we choose to live and how we make our living. At some point in his life McDiarmid made a decision that lead him to become a professional animal killer. Some people, myself included, have difficulty resolving this vocation and kindness or ethics.

  24. i believe that every living thing in this planet has its own function. an extinction of a spesies caused by human being will likely make an unbalance to the food chain and will take effect in years for humans to notice. what i dont agree is when we have to sacrifice any animals to make a great movie when there’s actually a technology to make it looks like a real animal. i hope that this movie didnt use or harm any real wolves. if they did, then they werent different than any brutal animals were they? we humans can think logically while animals cant.animals attack based on their animals instinc-self defense.not because they think its good to have our fur as their coat or our head hanging on their wall as a souvenir.so this movie is fine as long as no harm was done to any animals during the making.

    its just my opinion

  25. i believe that every living thing in this planet has its own function. an extinction of a spesies caused by human being will likely make an unbalance to the food chain and will take effect in years for humans to notice. what i dont agree is when we have to sacrifice any animals to make a great movie when there’s actually a technology to make it looks like a real animal. i hope that this movie didnt use or harm any real wolves. if they did, then they werent different than any brutal animals were they? we humans can think logically while animals cant.animals attack based on their animals instinc-self defense.not because they think its good to have our fur as their coat or our head hanging on their wall as a souvenir.so this movie is fine as long as no harm was done to any animals during the making.

    its just my opinion

  26. i believe that every living thing in this planet has its own function. an extinction of a spesies caused by human being will likely make an unbalance to the food chain and will take effect in years for humans to notice. what i dont agree is when we have to sacrifice any animals to make a great movie when there’s actually a technology to make it looks like a real animal. i hope that this movie didnt harm any real wolves. if they did, then they werent different than any brutal animals were they? we humans can think logically while animals cant.animals attack based on their animals instinc-self defense.not because they think its good to have our fur as their coat or our head hanging on their wall as a souvenir.so this movie is fine as long as no harm was done to any animals during the making.

    its just my opinion

  27. Men standing in formation with a few tree branches cut into spears…..and with fire…..No way the pack would have won….unless all those guys were weak pussies….and they weren’t for the most part…all that salvage on the plane….so many weapons could have been made. We left caves hundreds of years ago….we kicked wolves up the arse so hard strains of them became our best…yes-man buddies. Did mention fire? they had knifes…fuel lots of stuff everywhere….with half a brain with less then half the strength in numbers they had. The survivors would have raped the wolves so hard. Wolf hats,jackets…boots and other wolf s*** would gone all round…wolves all dead…..they hiked down river and found some people to help them get back home with a kick ass story to tell.

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