REVENANT PREQUEL: FIRST IMAGE

HOLLYWOOD – The first image from the highly anticipated prequel to Alejandro Inarritu’s The Revenant hit the internet today.

Alejandro Inarritu’s The Revenant was a huge hit with audiences and critics last year and won Leonardo diCaprio a belated Oscar nod. Now the prequel has begun shooting and today the Studio Exec can EXCLUSIVELY reveal the first shot from the production.

The film will chart Hugo Glass’ life as a child in the wilds of frontier land America. His friendship with the native first nation peoples and his immersion in the wildlife and particularly his friendship with old Ben, a beautiful friendly Grisly Bear.

Inarritu spoke on the telephone to the Exec:

I felt we had done something of a disservvice to nature in our film. We showed an unrelentingly harsh environment and I wanted to re-balance that a little. Also here with Hugo’s friendship foregrounded I think people will see the first film in a sharper more tragic light.

The Revenant: Bear With Me will be released in 2018.

ALEJANDRO INARITTU ADMITS NO ONE KILLED DURING REVENANT SHOOT

LONDON – Alejandro Inarittu admitted today that no one actually died during the shoot of his award winning film The Revenant.

Talking EXCLUSIVELY with The Studio Exec, Alejandro Inarittu finally confessed that no one had died during the shooting of The Revenant ‘despite my best efforts.’ The admission comes following a series of appearances of stars Leonardo diCaprio and Tom Hardy despite claims they had been killed and perhaps eaten during the tumultuous production:

I honestly don’t know how the stories got started that we were doing some sort of snuff movie, but it probably came about because we were so intent on authenticity that from the very beginning of the movie we were willing to go to some quite dangerous extremes. Especially with Leo. We began to talk about using a real bear for the attack scene and then later Leo insisted on chopping off Tom Hardy’s fingers during the fight because he said that was what his character would have done. Tom not to be out done bit off a piece of Leo’s ear. But did anyone actually die? I mean was anyone killed? No.

Police have however warned people away from joining in the new craze of Revenant parties which involve using real bears and have resulted in people being badly mauled.

The Revenant will win Oscars.

THE REVENANT CAUSES BLIZZARD AS PUBLICITY STUNT

HOLLYWOOD – Alejandro Inarritu’s The Revenant is currently topping the Box Office in part due to the blizzard that the studio provided as part of an extreme publicity stunt.

Leonardo diCaprio might have had to get intimate with a bear, but reports are that Alejandro Inarritu’s love of extremity has even infected the marketing campaign for his latest film The Revenant. An insider at the studio told The Studio Exec under strict confidence that the Mexican director had arranged for a freezing snow blizzard to hit the Eastern seaboard upon the release of his new movie.

Alejandro wants everything to be real and so quite early on in discussions about how we would introduce the concept of the film to the public he was all in for having a massive ice storm hit the Eastern Seaboard with strong winds and a heavy snow fall. His concept was that the audience would then feel that as they trudged through the freezing weather towards the movie theaters they would begin to understand not only what Hugo Glass was going to go through but also what Leo and Tom hardy went through as they were making the film.

But people died during the storm. 

Yeah, Alejandro. He really doesn’t give a shit about that. He was thumping the table and yelling “make it snow goddamn it.” At first we thought he wanted cocaine, but then it was clear he actually wanted us to manipulate the weather in order to give the audience the most immersive experience possible.

Can you actually manipulate the weather like that?

It’s not too difficult actually. You know that thing about a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico and a hurricane hitting Miami, apparently it works if a Mexican director wants snow in New York. Alejandro has so many butterflies, you wouldn’t believe.

For more on The Revenant CLICK HERE.

ALEJANDRO INARRITU TO DIRECT PADDINGTON 2

HOLLYWOOD – Popular children’s film Paddington 2 is to take an altogether different direction with the news that Oscar winning Birdman and Revenant director, Alejandro Inarritu is to take over as director.

Alejandro Inarritu dropped by the Studio Exec bungalow to talk about his new film Paddington 2.

I know that it is something of a surprise to see me take on a film such as this, but my career has been about trying to get away from the ghost of myself. If I simply becoming an automaton repeating the same old tropes and moves then artistically I will die. 21 Grams and Babel were too similar and so Birdman was a comedy, something I’ve never done. The Revenant is – when you come down to it – a classical revenge Western. But I’ve never done a children’s film. Not ever. And so when I saw Paddington I thought, I could have some of that.

The original Paddington was a huge success and Ben Wishaw is to return as the voice of the bear with Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins also returning as the Browns, who, along with their children, adopt Paddington after finding him alone at Paddington railway station. But we asked if there was a story line yet:

It’s all very sketchy right now but I have some ideas of how I want to approach this and what I want to do. First of all we will film in only natural light, I will allow myself a maximum of five cuts in the whole move and there will be absolutely no CGI.

No CGI?

That was the one mistake I made on the Revenant and never again. CGI takes you out of the movie. It is automatic, when something is CGI your brain thinks, ‘Ah this is safe!’ I want danger and so we’ll be using a real bear and Ben will do the voice over live on set, perhaps strapped to the back of the bear. Nicole Kidman is returning as the villain of the piece. But in a way I also want all the characters to be draped in moral ambiguity. So my idea is that Mr. Brown has leukemia and in order to pay for his treatments, Mrs. Brown is selling heroin to street kids. Millicent (that’s Nicole) is blackmailing Mrs. Brown and turning her against Paddington who to be fair has become increasingly violent as he is following a Guru who is teaching him to get in touch with his inner bear. The idea came to me when I heard that ridiculous story about DiCaprio being raped by the bear. It was nonsense but then I thought, ‘What if Paddington instead of giving Mr. Brown a long hard stare…?’

Paddington 2: The Moral Darkness of a Godless Universe will be released in 2018.

 Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

THE REVENANT – REVIEW

THE REVENANT – REVIEW: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow up to Birdman, The Revenant is an inspiring tale of survival ruined by blatant product placement.

Drowned on the Titanic, jailed for embezzlement, lobotomized on an island, beaten by Jack Nicholson, betrayed, basketball diaried, tricked into suicide by his girlfriend and a priest, Leonardo diCaprio has to be one of the unluckiest men alive. In The Revenant he’s torn to pieces by a bear and frozen by a hard winter, attacked by Indians, half drowned in a river and dropped from cliffs. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Tom Hardy offs his son and leaves him for dead. It’s almost as if Iñárritu is putting DiCaprio through some sort of Oscar endurance test. But it’s well worth the journey and diCaprio is magnificent along with Hardy.

With Terrence Malick’s cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki and set desginer Jack Fisk, there’s a fair bit of the Malickian here, but Iñárritu is more interested in nature red in tooth and claw. Immersed in the elemental extremes of fire, water, frost and violence, The Revenant drags the audience through an unforgiving wilderness. A history of massacres looms in the background and cold freezes throughout the film. There’s also a bit Tarkovsky with visions of floating women and sopping landscapes forgotten by an absentee God. Occasionally, the story veers too far into the extreme with logic and credibility be damned, a precipice too far if you will. But I’ll be gored by a bear and buggered by it too, if you can find a more fascinating and visually sumptuous depiction of why we have dentistry and central heating.

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RUMORS OF CANNIBALISM ON THE REVENANT SHOOT

HOLLYWOOD – Rumors have been spreading that Alejandro Inarritu’s follow up to Birdman The Revenant, starring Leonardo diCaprio, has run into difficulties with cannibalism widespread among the crew.

Based on a true story, Alejandro Inarritu’s new film The Revenant is a tale of survival set in the wilds of North America. Leonardo diCaprio plays 19th Century explorer Hugh Glass who after a bear attack is left for dead by his own team and has to battle through the wilderness to survive. Shot in natural light by legendary cameraman, Emmanuel Lubezki, Inarritu’s vision has gone over-budget and over-schedule causing co-star Tom Hardy to drop out of The Suicide Squad due to scheduling problems. An insider on the shoot said:

The film is certainly epic and I think everyone will be impressed both by the performances and by the quest for authenticity and originality in the director’s vision.

However, some are claiming that Inarritu went too far in the quest to bring his epic story to the screen.

A crew member spoke to the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY on the understanding that he would remain anonymous:

We were shooting in natural light and we were doing very long takes and we were way up in the north of Canada in the depths of Winter and so we had four hours of usable light. We would block and rehearse everything so that we could get the most done in the short time we had but then Alejandro would change his mind and we’d have to improvise some kind of solution.

However, things got gradually worse. Martin Yass continues:

 

The catering wouldn’t show up. The first day that happened we were very relaxed. We’re a veteran crew and there’s a lot of respect for the director and his creative team, but when catering didn’t turn up for another two days then we ate someone from the wardrobe department. That night there was great shock and consternation, and we were promised that there’d be tacos for everyone the next day but sure enough the next day came and after a really difficult set up – it was the bear scene – there was no sign of the tacos and we ate the gaffer.

News that the production was in trouble had the producer arrive on set only to be captured by Inarritu and burned in a huge wicker effigy of a bear.

We weren’t forced to dance around the burning effigy while the screams rang out and up to the frozen and indifferent stars, but we were definitely encouraged to.

Even the principal actors began to feel the pressure.

Leonardo diCaprio is convinced that he will win his long overdue Oscar with this film and so  he sees Alejandro as his road to that long-awaited goal and will do anything he says. I think Alejandro knew that and he used his power to get Leo to do some outrageous things. At one point Leo has to fight with a native American and Alejandro is shouting off camera: ‘Scalp him, scalp him!’ Leo did just that. Fortunately, that night there was no catering and so we could eat the extra and in that way conceal the evidence of what would otherwise have been a serious crime.

Inarritu himself however is unrepentant:

So we ate some people and scalped a guy, maybe burned one of the producers in a massive wooden effigy of a bear!? So what? When I was making Birdman I had Edward Norton crucify himself with real nails to get into his role. I don’t care about it. As we say in Mexico: if no one gets eaten, you’re not really trying.

The Revenant will be released later this year.

BIRDMAN: REVIEW

NEW YORK – Michael Keaton goes meta in Alejandro Inarritu’s best film to date, Birdman.

Batman is trying to make a play on Broadway as a way of getting away from the superhero alter ego – Birdman – who haunts him to this day. Unfortunately he hires the Incredible Hulk, a complete asshole of an actor who is likely to steal the show, or steal Batman’s daughter played by Spider-man’s girlfriend.

Alejandro Inarritu films most of the action in one flowing continuous take (obviously there’s some smokes and mirrors here but the illusion is brilliantly maintained and never looks like a mere gimmick). The writing is top calibre as well, with some corrosively bitchy zingers. Despite the post-modernity and contemporary references this is when it comess down to it a backstage comedy, like Noises Off, or more recently Shakespeare in Love. The Show Must Go On drives the narrative forward even at the risk of the sanity of its protagonist. And there is a biting angry satire, that seeks to demolish just about everything in its path – superhero movies, twitter and youtube celebrity, rehab, journalists, actors, even this very act of criticism itself. The acting is superb, with some career best performances from Edward Norton, Lindsay Duncan, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis as well as a toweringly twitchy tormented Michael Keaton.

This is clever, self-conscious, deliriously entertaining cinema at its best.

Birdman will be out presently.