Media sources are reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio is set to shoot a Western film based on the famous mountain man Hugh Glass (1780-1833). Indications are that the film will be made in Alberta and British Columbia between October 2014 and March 2015. Tom Hardy will co-star in what has been described as a “revenge story”.

UPDATE (July 18, 2015): To view the film’s first trailer, visit Trailer – The Revenant.

Mountain men were non-Indigenous fur trappers and explorers in the Rocky Mountains of the early- to mid-19th century. It is estimated that some 3,000 mountain men roamed that region between 1820 and the peak year of their era in 1840. Following the decline of the fur trade, many would find work as guides and hunters for Euro-American settlers moving westward by wagon.

While working in present-day South Dakota for a trading company in 1823, Hugh Glass met an estimated seven-foot tall grizzly bear that attacked and mauled him. The screams of Glass fighting back brought the rest of his travelling party, who shot the bear dead. Glass was barely alive and could not be moved across any distance; his group tried to comfort him on a bed of buffalo robes and willow branches beneath the shade of trees.

Image – cheaperthandirt.com

Prior to the group moving on, two men from the trapping party accepted a bonus to remain with Glass until he expired and would ensure that he was properly buried. The two men stayed with Glass for two days but surprisingly the mountain man did not quickly die. One man, seeing an Indigenous group in the distance (relations with the Native Americans in the region varied depending on the trapper and the tribe), convinced the other to leave Glass or face possible death themselves. The men took Glass’s rifle as proof to others that he had died and been buried.

Glass did not expire. Regaining consciousness alone, he was able to crawl to a nearby source of fresh water and plum bushes. Slowly gaining back his strength, he inched out across the plains and set out for a fort on the Missouri River some 200 miles to east. Help travelling would come from a group of Sioux hunters and eventually he found the men who abandoned him. This writer will leave the story there. 😉

Leonardo DiCaprio / Image – renewable-energy-news.info

For more information about the historic mountain men, visit the Westernsreboot.com article The Mountain Men Never Left.

UPDATE (January 26th): A new post provides further information about the above film, currently titled The Revenant.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)



  1. Sounds VERY interesting. I can’t visualize DiCaprio as a mountain man, but since he’s a good actor and the movie industry can make anything look real these days, I’m sure he’ll pull it off. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be looking out for it. Interesting background, too. Great post.

  2. Thanks for the visit and comment, Linda. The story of Hugh Glass alone is a striking one and so the potential is there (especially with the natural landscapes) for a powerful film. At the very least, it will be a reminder that humans have had the ability to travel without a GPS. 😉

    Thanks again,

  3. […] Mountain men were the prime non-Indigenous presence in the Rocky Mountains of North America between the 1820s and 1840. After the decline of the fur trade, these trappers and explorers would find later work as hunters and guides for westward-moving settlers. Westernsreboot.com further discusses the story of Hugh Glass at Mountain Man Western. […]

  4. […] 4.)  LEONARDO DICAPRIO TO STAR IN MOUNTAIN MAN WESTERN (July 17, 2014) – A primer on the upcoming film The Revenant, which is currently slated for a US release in December, 2015. Filmed in Alberta and British Columbia, it dramatizes the true story of famous mountain man Hugh Glass (1780-1833), with DiCaprio in the lead role. In 1823, while in present-day South Dakota, Hugh Glass was mauled by an estimated seven-foot tall grizzly bear. Two men from his travelling party stayed with Glass, thinking he would soon die, but after two days when he didn’t, they left him. The film is based on the “revenge story” of Glass’s survival and tracking of the two men who had abandoned him. […]

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