If you like your frontier films extra gory, get ready for The Revenant. Reigning Best Director Oscar winner and Birdman helmer Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s upcoming frontier-set drama has been rated R by the MPAA, and the official reasoning is as follows (per Box Office Mojo):
Strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.
Yep, “strong frontier combat and violence” is officially a ratings reasoning now. Granted, we pretty much knew The Revenant was going to be intense given the lengths to which Iñárritu went to capture the realism of the story. Based on true events, the film takes place in the early 19th century and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as hunter Hugh Glass, who is left for dead by his compatriots following a (very graphic, apparently) bear mauling. He subsequently awakens and sets out for revenge, with Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson filling the roles of the men who must come face to face with Glass’ wrath.
Iñárritu was in production on The Revenant last fall while making the Oscar rounds for Birdman, but filming stretched on so far into 2015 that Hardy was forced to drop out of Suicide Squad. Stretching for gritty realism, Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki shot in remote locations using natural light, but weather problems forced them to abandoned principal photography this spring and regroup in July, down near Antarctica, in order to shoot the film’s closing sequence.
But with the MPAA rating settled, that means Iñárritu has his final shot in the can and is presumably closing in on completing post-production. This is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated films of the year yet to hit theaters, so all eyes are on the movie’s December 25th release date, when we’ll finally get to see what this crazy group of filmmakers put together—graphic frontier violence and all.