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‘The Revenant’ Shooting Locations

February 14, 2020
5 min read

Acclaimed Mexican screenwriter and filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 2015 drama survival western ‘‘The Revenant’ is undoubtedly one of the most influential films of the past decade. Although not everyone’s cup of tea with its long drawn out runtime, grisly imagery and a general lack of dialogue, ‘The Revenant’ was nonetheless a technical masterpiece, meticulously crafted to provide the viewer with an experience more authentic and visceral than any other.

The film is also known for being the straw that finally broke the camel’s back and got actor Leonardo DiCaprio his first ever Academy Award for Best Actor after decades of cruel snubs. All in all, ‘The Revenant’ was showered with numerous accolades including three Golden Globe Awards, five BAFTA Awards, and three Academy Awards.

If you were wondering what are ‘The Revenant’ filming locations, read on to find out everything we know.

Where Was The Revenant Filmed?

The plot of ‘The Revenant’ is based on true events and takes place almost entirely on the American frontier in Montana and South Dakota in 1823. The locations featured in the movie include snow topped hills, vast wilderness and fast flowing waters. Of course, both those locations in the real world have long been civilized and no longer represent the brutal American frontier of the early nineteenth century. Therefore, alternate locations were required for the filming.

‘The Revenant’ was filmed primarily in a number of locations in three countries – Canada, Argentina, and the United States. Principal photography began in October of 2014 and was expected to wrap up in April or May of 2015. However, the ambitious nature of the film’s cinematography, which was filmed entirely using natural light, meant that the filming took longer than anticipated and stretched well into August 2015.

Check out this photo of the cast and crew of ‘The Revenant’:

Alberta, Canada

Canada served as the primary filming location for ‘The Revenant’ and the majority of the film was shot here. The secluded Bow Valley in Alberta Canada is a prominent filming location for ‘Revenant’, perfectly encapsulating the harsh realities of the wild American frontier. Filming here was an extremely challenging task, as temperatures would regularly drop below -30 C.

The battle scene with the Native Americans was filmed at Morley, a First Nations settlement of the indigenous people within the Stoney Indian reserve in southern Alberta.

Another prominently featured location in Alberta is the Badlands of Drumheller, also known as “Dinosaur Valley”. This is the location where John Fitzgerald first spots a meteor. Fitzgerald’s journey through the mountains was filmed near the Fortress Mountain Resort near the Kananaskis Trail in Kananaskis Country.

Check out this picture of actors Tom Hardy and Paul Anderson while filming in Canada:

British Columbia, Canada

The filming location for the most iconic scene in ‘The Revenant’, the bear attack, is the beautiful Squamish Valley in British Columbia, Canada. On set, filming was done at the Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, British Columbia, which is where films like ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ‘ were also filmed.

Kootenai Falls, Libby, Montana

Limited filming for the waterfall scene where Glass gets trapped in fast flowing waters was filmed at the picturesque Kootenai Falls near Libby, Montana.

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

While the initial plan was to film the entire movie in Canada itself, delays in the production meant that the weather had become too warm by the time the climax of ‘The Revenant’ was being filmed. Therefore, director Iñárritu decided to move the shoot to the town of Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in Argentina. This is the location where Glass and Fitzgerald have their final climactic showdown.

Check out this picture of actor Tom Hardy while filming in Ushuaia:

The Revenant Cast, Crew and Plot

The cast of ‘The Revenant’ features ‘Inception’ actor Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ actor Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald, ‘Ex Machina’ actor Domhnall Gleeson as Andrew Henry, ‘Midsommar’ actor Will Poulter as Jim Bridger, and ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ actor Forrest Goodluck as Hawk as part of the main cast.

‘The Revenant’ is directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu. He is best known for films such as the 2006 psychological drama ‘Babel’ and the Academy Award winning 2014 black comedy ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’.

The story line of ‘The Revenant’ is based on the experiences of Hugh Glass, an American frontiersman, hunter, and explorer nearly two centuries ago in 1823. During an ill-fated exploring expedition, Glass is brutally attacked by a grizzly bear and sustains near fatal injuries. Considering him to be close to death, a member of his hunting party named John Fitzgerald decides to abandon him and kills his young son Hawk. A devastated Glass must display unprecedented levels of courage and impetus as he tries to survive the deadly American frontier and track down the treacherous Fitzgerald to realize his vengeance.

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