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The Revenant team go to great lengths to achieve "a sonic painting"

In the current issue of Total Film, Oscar-winning Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu discusses his new film, The Revenant, and how he and his leads, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, battled the elements to create a unique film - trekking to inhospitable locations in freezing -40 temperatures.

Rejecting 'shitty cutting' for his trademark luxurious, long takes and artificial light for 'magic hour' natural light (affording just 90 minutes shoot-time a day), Iñárritu tells Total Film “it's worth it” and that “I had to create the narrative where the film starts in Autumn and goes to full winter, so it took years to get all the pieces together. I wanted this to be a sonic painting that you can get lost in.”

Take a look at the gorgeous shots from the finished product and it's clear Iñárritu has created an epic and beautiful revenge thriller that will no doubt be dallying with Oscar come awards season.

The true tale a 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) who was mauled by a bear then robbed and left for dead by his companion, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), The Revenant follows Glass' survival trek and vengeance... coming across Native Americans and life-threatening situations on his travels.

And Iñárritu's not the only one who thinks the struggles against the weather to film were worth it. Domnall Gleeson, who plays a fur trapper, tells Total Film that he watched the nearly-finished film and was blown away by the scale, grandeur and realism. “The bear attack is one of the maddest things I've ever seen! I saw it in a screening room by myself and I was shouting; 'AARGH! JESUS!'” Wow, sounds grizzly.

The Revenant opens in the UK on January 15. For much more on the film, check out the latest issue of Total Film (opens in new tab), on newsstands now.

Jane Crowther

Jane Crowther is the Editor of Total Film magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of the Film Group here at Future Plc, which covers Total Film, SFX, and numerous TV and women's interest brands. Jane is also the vice-chair of The Critics' Circle and a BAFTA member. You'll find Jane on GamesRadar+ exploring the biggest movies in the world and living up to her reputation as one of the most authoritative voices on film in the industry.