Hillcoat To Direct 'The Revenant' With Bale To Star?

Director John Hillcoat's critically-acclaimed adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Road was all but ignored during last year's awards season (you can read Screen Rant's own positive review HERE).  Fans of Hillcoat's post-apocalyptic flick will be glad to hear that the director may now be set to direct another intense drama, an adaptation of The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge.

According to screenwriter Mark L. Smith (Vacancy), Hillcoat is attached to direct his script for The Revenant, which is based off Michael Punke's novel of the same name.  In addition, Smith has informed Bloody Disgusting that Christian Bale (heard of him? ;-) ) is currently in negotiations to star in the film as Hugh Glass, an 1820s frontiersman who hunts down the men that left him for dead after he was attacked and mauled by a bear.

The protagonist at the focus of The Revenant's narrative - a physically battered man obsessed with surviving the harsh wilderness around him - bears more than a passing resemblance to Viggo Mortensen's Man in Hillcoat's version of The Road.  Hillcoat has also directed the tale of a vengeance quest set against the wild frontier before, in his 2005 Australia-set flick The Proposition. Revenant sounds like an excellent fit for the director's dark, intense approach to storytelling.

Guy Pierce in The Proposition
Guy Pierce in 'The Proposition.'

According to CHUD, director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) was at one point set to direct a film adaptation of The Revenant with Samuel L. Jackson playing the role of Hugh Glass.  Hillcoat's sensibilities as a filmmaker seem a better fit for the revenge story than Chan-wook's - though the latter's gritty, violent tendencies as a director would've been interesting to see in a western setting. Here's hoping the project actually comes to fruition this time around.

How likely is it that Hillcoat will get to make The Revenant with Bale onboard?  Well, Bale's schedule is not too crowded at the moment and - with the obvious exception of Batman 3 - he isn't set to appear in any big-budget films that would take priority over this project anytime soon.  If he does sign on for Hillcoat's thriller, it would be Bale's second venture into the western genre after his previous turn in the 3:10 to Yuma remake from director James Mangold (Knight and Day) back in 2007.

3:10 to Yuma remake from 2007

So what do you think?  Does The Revenant sound more interesting with Hillcoat directing and Bale possibly starring?  Sound off in the comments section below.

We'll keep you updated on new information concerning The Revenant as it comes in.

Source: CHUD, BD (via The Playlist)

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