At the end of last week, we were treated with the grunty, surprise trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s “The Revenant.” Much has been made about his process of making this film, shooting in sequence, in real wintry locations up in Canada, using only natural light. However, as it goes with planning your production around the weather, particularly in a time of rising temperatures, there have been delays.
“The snow melted down, literally, in front of our eyes,” Iñárritu told Grantland. “We experienced global warming; we were planning to shoot the ending scene in a location that supposedly will have snow…[But there were] bees. So we had to shut down.” And so, with a release date in just five months, the filmmaker still has shooting to do on his film, notably, that aforementioned finale he couldn’t get in the can previously.
Hollywood Elsewhere has picked up on a piece in Imagen magazine which notes that while 90% of the film is complete, there’s still more to be done. And Jeffrey Wells has confirmed that Iñárritu and his crew will head to Ushuaia, Argentina — as close as you can get to the South Pole, without being at the South Pole — this weekend for what will be a four-day shoot, to get that ending in the can. And it has been an unconventional grind for the “Birdman” director.
“It’s been a challenging period of postproduction, editing, and preproduction, which is weird. Nonstop. Honestly, nonstop,” he shared with Grantland. However, this is a movie about survival and if anything, Iñárritu is managing to stay standing no matter what’s thrown his way. And he tells Imagen about the grander themes of his picture.
“I saw this film as an opportunity to explore the possibilities and reasons for what keeps us striving to live when you have lost everything,” he said. “When I talk about losing everything I also mean health, hope or emotional relationships. So what do we have? Why do we continue?”
Barring any more unlikely weather patterns, by the end of next week, “The Revenant” will be fully lensed. But you probably don’t want to count on it showing up anywhere on the fall festival circuit because according to Wells, the filmmaker has told him it won’t ready to be seen until December (meanwhile, this AM, 20th Century Fox changed its December 25 limited release to wide). And it sounds like it’ll be down to the wire to make the release date.