The Beard Is Strong With This Trailer: The Revenant

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Have you heard of Hugh Glass? You probably won’t forget his name after you watch this trailer for The Revenant.

Glass, a 19th century American frontiersman, is best known for surviving for months on his own after he was attacked by a bear and the other members of his expedition buried him alive and left him for dead. His unbelievable story has been the subject of a couple of books as well as the 1971 film Man in the Wilderness starring Richard Harris. Now Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu has adapted Michael Punke’s 2003 novel about Hugh Glass, The Revenant, into a film of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

Punke’s novel is rated highly on GoodReads.com, with 3.86 out of 4 stars. Some of this praise can probably be attributed to what is described on Amazon as Punke’s “hauntingly spare and gripping prose,” while the incredible story of Glass’s extreme hardship and survival no doubt provides a compelling read.

As one reviewer notes:

Early on, Glass is mauled by the bear. Want to know how bad? Here’s a description of his scalp post-bear attack: “The skin was so loose that it was almost like replacing a fallen hat on a bald man. Harris pulled the scalp across Glass’s skull, pressing the loose skin against his forehead and tucking it behind his ear. (p. 27)”

 

I sure hope you weren’t eating when you read that excerpt.

As for Iñárritu’s movie version of The Revenant, it now has a teaser trailer and an official synopsis:

Deep in the unchartered American wilderness, hunter Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is severely injured and left for dead by a traitorous member of his team, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). With sheer will as his only weapon, Glass must navigate a hostile environment, a brutal winter and warring tribes in a relentless quest to survive and exact vengeance on Fitzgerald.

At two minutes and change, this hardly seems like your typical teaser trailer although to its credit, it doesn’t feature any dialogue. The only spoilers are visual and if gorgeous vistas of snowy mountains and sun-dappled trees are considered “spoilers,” then bring it on.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this year, Iñárritu expressed his desire for “showcasing nature in as pure a state as possible,” and the trailer bears this out, reminiscent of Terence Malick’s gorgeous 2005 film, The New World. The editing is particularly great, too, especially the sound, in which DiCaprio’s breathing is repeated over and over as a brutal reminder of his character’s plight.

The Revenant opens in theaters on December 25.

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