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Alejandro González Iñárritu Wants To Shoot 'The Revenant' In Sequence, Megan Ellison May Save Financially Troubled Pic

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 11, 2014 5:58 PM
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With a prime opening slot for "Birdman" at the Venice Film Festival next month, things look to be going pretty well for Alejandro González Iñárritu, and he even has "The Revenant" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy gearing up to shoot this fall. Or does he?

THR reports that the film, which was slated to start shooting in September, is now in jeopardy after the troubled production company Worldview Entertainment backed out of financing the movie. 20th Century Fox isn't interested in putting up the money themselves citing the pay-or-play deals for the two leads (meaning they get paid even if the movie doesn't get made), but there's more complications. In a typically ambitious move by Iñárritu, he wants to shoot the movie—about a 19th century fur trapper who is mauled by a grizzly bear, left for dead and robbed, who then goes on a mission of vengeance—in sequence, which would add $7 million dollars to the budget.

But hope is on the horizon with every cinephile's fave, Megan Ellison ("The Master," "Her," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Killing Them Softly"), looking to step in and back the movie via Annapurna Pictures. So fingers crossed that Iñárritu gets to the shoot the movie the way he wants, and everything stays on track for what sounds like a potentially great film.

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  • Bo | July 12, 2014 4:19 PMReply

    Forget about it. This movie has already been done with Richard Harris and John Huston (who did not direct) in the early '70's titled Man In The Wilderness. Actually quite good. Same story. Same source material.

  • Taylor Jones | July 12, 2014 1:05 PMReply

    I usually defend the director---even if the director is Iñárritu, who's more Hollywood middlebrow than Cannes/Venice---but there is likely no compelling reason for this to shoot this in sequence. That's a borderline Cimino request. This is obviously a larger production, but it did apparently take Jarmusch seven years to raise seven million for "Only Lovers Left Alive"...

  • brou | July 13, 2014 2:54 AM

    Well, I don't know the details of the story but, as it seems to take place in the wilderness, the weather could play a big part and you could have to shoot in sequence to mark the passing of the seasons convincingly, for example.

  • todd | July 12, 2014 12:37 AMReply

    $7 million to shoot in sequence? wtf.......

  • cirkusfolk | July 11, 2014 11:49 PMReply

    Maybe these actors should sacrifice their cushy contracts in order to get the film made if that's what it takes.

  • Pikachu | July 11, 2014 9:55 PMReply

    I wonder if the pay or play deal is also available for directors, since their time commitment is usually much longer than that of the actors. 2-6 months compared to 2-3 years or more.

  • Alphabet | July 11, 2014 9:43 PMReply

    Shooting in sequence can complicate scheduling tremendously, especially when multiple locations are involved. Extra $7M is an awful lot for most indie auteurs - this article is questioning whether the film might not get made at all - scheduling likely a big factor.

  • Edward | July 12, 2014 4:59 AM

    This is obviously a big Hollywood production so I don't what you mean by "indie auteur."

  • yer | July 11, 2014 9:22 PMReply

    Plenty of films shoot in sequence. You now want to give someone credit just for doing that? This auteur worshipping is ridiculous.

  • Trent | July 12, 2014 12:43 AM

    @MICHAEL - Not to speak for a total stranger, but I don't think any sane film producer wants to make movies with no concern for its success - even if they're reported to be a billionaire. And she seems perfectly sane...

  • Michael | July 11, 2014 10:25 PM

    It's rare that a film shoots in sequence due to budgetary concerns. The cost is usually prohibitive, due to changing back and forth between locations, etc. Consider the films she's financially produced until now, most of which have yet to break even. Ellison has so much money at her disposal that she's unconcerned whether her films end up in the red, so maybe this will happen, even at an over-premium budget.

  • hank | July 11, 2014 9:57 PM

    not that many films shoot in sequence.

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