Leo DiCaprio goes full-frontier in first trailer for Birdman director’s The Revenant

There was already quite a bit of buzz surrounding filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s upcoming film The Revenant well before he won an Academy Award for Birdman earlier this year, and now the first trailer for that much-anticipated movie has debuted online.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the film is based on a novel of the same name by Michael Punke and inspired by true events. DiCaprio plays legendary American frontier explorer Hugh Glass, who was left for dead by his hunting party after being mauled by a bear. Forced to survive a dangerous winter alone in the wilderness, Glass’ love for his family and desire for vengeance pushes him to the extremes in his quest to live and find redemption.

Along with DiCaprio, the film’s cast also includes Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), and Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) as the members of Glass’ hunting party who left him for dead.

Much like Birdman, The Revenant was also co-written by Iñárritu. The acclaimed filmmaker earned three Oscars for directing and co-writing Birdman (as a writer, a director, and for the year’s overall best film), so it will be interesting to see whether this movie receives a similarly warm welcome from Hollywood award committees. More significantly, however, is the question of whether it will finally earn DiCaprio the Academy Award he’s been chasing for much of his career.

The first trailer for The Revenant arrives almost 14 years after Punke’s novel was first picked up for adaptation, and multiple combinations of directors and stars have passed through the project during that period. Originally envisioned as a film that would have Oldboy director Park Chan-wook paired with Samuel L. Jackson as the film’s star, the project later shifted to a collaboration between The Road director John Hillcoat and actor Christian Bale. Iñárritu joined the project in August 2011, and DiCaprio was confirmed as the film’s star in 2014.

The Revenant is currently scheduled for a limited release December 25, with a wider release planned for January 8, 2016.

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