Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Now that New Regency closed a deal to fully fund the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed The Revenant, the Biutiful helmer has set his sights on Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn to play the two leads in the screen adaptation of the Michael Punke novel. I’m told they’ve met with Inarritu, but that if this cast materializes it would mean starting next fall. In the Mark L. Smith-scripted drama, DiCaprio is being courted to play 1820s frontiersman Hugh Glass, who hires on to a fur trapping expedition and is so badly mauled by a bear that he’s unable to be transported back from the wilderness. He hires two men to stay behind. Expecting him to die, they rob and abandon him instead, leaving him helpless. When he recovers, he is hellbent on revenge. Inarritu wants Penn to play one of the men who left him for dead. 20th Century Fox will distribute. DiCaprio next stars in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and Penn is shooting Gangster Squad.

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