After failed iterations of the project that featured Park Chan-wook and Samuel L. Jackson and another version with John Hillcoat and Christian Bale, Warner Bros.‘ adaptation of Michael Punke‘s period revenge-actioner “The Revenant” has now found itself another top notch director.
The Wrap reports that Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has joined the project, taking on the 1820s-set story of a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, on a path of vengeance against those who robbed him and left him for dead after a bear mauling. No word yet on whether Bale is still attached at all, but, christ, wouldn’t that be an inspired collaboration.
The picture will be a departure in some ways, as it will mark the first Iñárritu project the filmmaker hasn’t developed from the ground up. His initial three films — “Amores perros,” “21 Grams” and “Babel” — were all penned by friend and collaborator Guillermo Arriaga, and the duo worked closely on these interwoven narratives. The two had a hard falling out after “Babel” and the director branched out with Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone to pen 2010’s “Biutiful.” Either way, a period-set revenge flick through the eyes of Iñárritu? Count us in.
The adaptation of Punke’s ‘Revenant’ was written by Mark L. Smith, who sports only a limited resume (his highlights seem to be “Vacancy,” “Vacancy 2” and “The Hole“), but did earn itself a place on the 2007 Black List. Here’s the full synopsis of the source novel by Punke, courtesy of Amazon:
A Philadelphia-born adventurer, frontiersman Hugh Glass goes to sea at age 16 and enjoys a charmed life, including several years under the flag of the pirate Jean Lafitte and almost a year as a prisoner of the Loup Pawnee Indians on the plains between the Platte and the Arkansas rivers. In 1822, at age 36, Glass escapes, finds his way to St. Louis and enters the employ of Capt. Andrew Henry, trapping along tributaries of the Missouri River. After surviving months of hardship and Indian attack, he falls victim to a grizzly bear. His throat nearly ripped out, scalp hanging loose and deep slashing wounds to his back, shoulder and thigh, Glass appears to be mortally wounded. Initially, Captain Henry refuses to abandon him and has him carried along the Grand River. Unfortunately, the terrain soon makes transporting Glass impossible. Even though his death seems certain, Henry details two men, a fugitive mercenary, John Fitzgerald, and young Jim Bridger (who lived to become a frontier hero) to stand watch and bury him. After several days, Fitzgerald sights hostile Indians. Taking Glass’s rifle and tossing Bridger his knife, Fitzgerald flees with Bridget, leaving Glass. Enraged at being left alone and defenseless, Glass survives against all odds and embarks on a 3,000-mile-long vengeful pursuit of his ignominious betrayers. Told in simple expository language, this is a spellbinding tale of heroism and obsessive retribution.