By the year 1999, a time when ‘Star Wars’ devotees waited with bated breath for the triumphant return of their most cherished franchise with not one but three new installments, Leonardo DiCaprio had already done some solid work. He had broken out big as a youngster in role alongside Robert De Niro and Johnny Depp in ‘This Boy’s Life’ and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,’ respectively. He had proven his chops as an actor with a meaty role in ‘The Basketball Diaries’ and attained full sex-icon status through dreamboat appearances in ‘Romeo + Juliet’ as well as ‘Titanic,’ which also made DiCaprio one of the most highly bankable stars on the planet.
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The Revenant has sold itself in trailers as a story of revenge, but to hear director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and screenwriter Mark L. Smith tell it, this is a movie about a “spiritual journey.” We’ll have to wait another week to see if that’s what audiences ultimately take from the film, but according to Smith, The Revenant wasn’t originally conceived as a revenge tale — it was something a little different, and a little more interesting.
How good does a movie have to look to offset its other deficiencies? The Revenant is as beautiful a movie as has ever been made. The photography by master cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is inconceivably gorgeous; sweeping wide shots that juxtapose tiny, insignificant men against the overwhelming grandeur of nature, close-ups so intimate they seem like invasions of the actors’ privacy, and action sequences of shocking violence.
This Christmas we’re getting not one, but two violent films in brutally cold wintertime settings, because nothing says the holidays like blood splattered across snow — according to Quentin Tarantino and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, anyway. A new TV spot for Iñárritu’s The Revenant has arrived online, and just as the title suggests, it features a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio fighting (and fighting…and fighting…) to survive.
Quentin Tarantino originally wanted Kevin Costner to square off with his hero, but when his schedule wouldn’t let him appear in the film he was replaced by Kurt Russell. When Kurt Russell’s schedule wouldn’t let him appear in the film, the character, named Ace Woody, was completely written out of the script. That’s just one of the surprising facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which is on a quest for revenge (and to bring you this information about Tarantino’s Django Unchained).
Like most visionary directors, Martin Scorsese consistently has several projects in mind, from the long-gestating The Irishman to more recent developments, like The Devil in the White City. The director has officially extended his deal with Paramount through 2019, which means a few of those movies he’s been thinking about making will get made pretty soon, and he’s just added another project to that growing to-do list.
Hey, remember the Volkswagen scandal? You know, the one that just happened last month? The one that inspired a book that hasn’t even been written yet? Oh, good. You remember. So does Leonardo DiCaprio, and his Appian Way banner is producing a film all about it, in case you forget between now and approximately two years from now.
Before Michael Fassbender was cast as Steve Jobs, the biopic went down a long and complicated road in pre-production. Directors (including David Fincher) were offered the job and passed. Actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, among them) were offered the title role and passed. With an Aaron Sorkin script we now know is very, very good, it’s surprising that so many talented people declined to participate in the movie. But, we now have an idea why these people decided to pass on Steve Jobs and it has nothing to do with the quality of the film.
If you’re already looking ahead and wondering what movies will wind up with Oscar nominations in early 2016, you should start paying close attention to The Revenant. The new trailer for the Leonardo DiCaprio wilderness revenge thriller has arrived and, wow, is it beautiful.
It was so cold when Leonardo DiCaprio filmed Alejandro G. Iñárittu’s upcoming explorer epic The Revenant that the below-zero temperatures have already created a load of controversy for the film. “I was cold basically every day, especially my hands,” DiCaprio told Entertainment Weekly, adding that an on-set warming machine was his “savior.”