Back when Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu announced that his next directorial effort would be the period revenge thriller The Revenant, it was rumored he might reunite with his Biutiful leading man. Then Javier Bardem moved on to the high-profile gig of playing >a Bond villain, and Inarritu was forced to look elsewhere.

According to Deadline, the Babel director now would like to cast his 21 Grams lead Sean Penn alongside Leonardo DiCaprio for an adaptation of Michael Punke’s novel. The story follows frontiersmen in the 1820 who encounter a bear while on a fur-trapping expedition. When one trapper is mauled so badly he can’t be transported back to safety, his friend hires two men to watch him as he goes for help. The men, however, rob the wounded stranger, convinced he won’t make it. Guess what? He does, and sets out to track those who’ve wronged him.

The site says Inarritu would like Penn to play one of the wicked men who abandoned the mauled frontiersman. I wonder if that means DiCaprio, should he sign on, would play the bear victim who eventually muscles up and tracks the two fiends. Coming off of Django Unchained, this could be back-to-back badass period pieces for the Titanic pretty boy. Then again, Penn’s also hard at work on Gangster Squad, so he’s no slouch in the macho department. While I’m disappointed to hear that Bardem’s out, Inarritu instantly helps The Revenant if he’s able to lure Penn and DiCaprio to the project. We’ll keep you posted.

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