Update: Earlier this evening I read a 9.18 interview with Alejandro G. Inarritu in Imagen, a Mexican film magazine, that seemed to contradict information I was recently given about Inarritu’s The Revenant not expected to be finished “until December” because there’s “a lot more work to be done.” This was because the article states that the film is “90% complete” except for the ending, as Inarritu likes to shoot in sequence. The article also reports (and I’ve independently confirmed with Inarritu) that the finale will be filmed over a four-day period later this month (and possibly into early August) in Ushuaia, Argentina. AGI leaves this coming Sunday, or on 7.26. This indicated to me at least that the film might be screenable before December, but Inarritu says no. He re-affirmed the 12.25 release date and said he is “still editing and in full post-production until then. Not finished at all.”
The Revenant began shooting in October 2014 in areas near Calgary, Alberta, as well as in British Columbia. The Wiki page says principal photography was originally scheduled to end in March although Inarritu subsequently stated that production would last “until the end of April or [into] May.” However a sudden heat wave melted the Alberta snow and forced Team Revenant to quit before they could finish.
It is now winter in Ushuaia, a resort town on Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago — the southernmost tip of South America known as “the end of the world.” Current Ushuaia temperatures are averaging in the 30s so finding snow shouldn’t be a problem.
The Imagen article, digitally translated into crude English from the original Spanish, states that “in two weeks” Inarritu, dp Emmanuel Lubezki, presumably Leonardo DiCaprio along with other cast members and a crew will fly to Ushuaia to shoot the final scene or sequence, which will take roughly four days, as noted. “It’s frightening what global warming is doing,” Inarritu tells the magazine. “The other thing is that it’s crazy…I’m editing and yet I have yet to shoot the final scene, but I have no choice. I need snow in summer and the only place I can find that is now is in Patagonia.” (Thanks to HE reader “Alvy Singer/Songwriter” for the link.)
Does “90% complete” mean that the film is more or less cut into some kind of coherent shape except for the yet-to-be-filmed finale? One would presume so. The normal pattern these days is to begin editing on films as soon as shooting begins, and The Revenant, as noted, has been shooting since last fall.
“I saw this film as an opportunity to explore the possibilities and reasons for what keeps us striving to live when you have lost everything,” Inarritu tells Imagen. “When I talk about losing everything I also mean health, hope or emotional relationships. So what do we have? Why do we continue?”