We’ve all heard the horror stories associated with The Revenant’s production. From uncooperative weather to being forced to shoot the film chronologically, the film seemed plagued with problems at every turn. It’s the sort of endeavor that no sane person would ever wish upon himself or herself, and according to the film’s director, it’s not a project he would have undertaken if he had thought about it too much.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Alejandro G. Iñárritu explained that the decision to make The Revenant in retrospect seems like a completely irresponsible one:
I would say the film is a happy accident of a very bad decision. It's the result of an irresponsible decision that I made. But we need that sometimes – to be naive, blind from reality. If not, we will not embark ourselves on things. I'll be an office guy or whatever. I mean, I'm not an idiot – I knew how difficult it would be. But I can feel now how far I was from reality when I was deciding how this was to be made. I'm glad that I did that irresponsible decision, but it could have been really bad. You know what I mean?
Alejandro G. Iñárritu really doesn’t’ seem like a "look before you leap" kind of guy. The Revenant developed a reputation long before it hit theaters for its painstaking production. Between Iñárritu, the crew, and members of the cast such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, everyone pushed themselves to their mental and physical limits in order to get the job done. While the end result was an amazing movie – one that could very well win this year’s Oscar for Best Picture – Iñárritu acknowledges that the film could have been an unequivocal disaster.
Prior to the film’s release, The Revenant came under fire for its unorthodox production. Specifically, Iñárritu drew criticism for the film’s unsafe working conditions. Before the film wrapped production, somewhere in the range of 15-20 crew members actually departed the film because the working environment had become so hellish. We’ve heard of suffering for art, but judging by the film, there’s a chance we would have potentially done the same.
Alejandro Iñárritu would go on to liken the process of making The Revenant to the most monumental of human achievements:
Like when you climb Mount Everest and nobody dies, but we were so close! It's that feeling of relief.
At the end of the day, we as members of the audience couldn’t be much happier with Iñárritu's sheer irresponsibility. The Revenant turned out as a masterpiece of modern filmmaking, and we will see if it ends up going all the way when the Oscars air on February 28.