Idris Elba explains how his new survival thriller, Beast, is inspired by Leonardo Dicaprio. Elba, who is known for his roles in films like Thor: Ragnarok, Beasts of No Nation, and The Suicide Squad, is next slated to appear in Beast, an African-set adventure from Universal Pictures. The film, which is directed by Baltasar Kormákur, tells the story of a father who must go to great lengths to protect his two daughters from a giant rogue lion who kills everyone in his path.
In addition to Elba, Beast also stars District 9 star Sharlto Copley, as well as Iyana Halley and Leah Sava. Trailers for the film have teased that Beast is far from an ordinary survival thriller, with the movie’s monstrous lion killing not for food but seemingly for sport. The trailer shows that Beast takes place in an isolated South African location and hints that the movie won’t be the faint of heart, with plenty of scares and at least a few bloody brawls between Elba and the titular beast. While Beast appears to be inspired by other survival thrillers like Stephen King’s Cujo or perhaps even The Grey, Elba now reveals that there was another surprising inspiration behind the film.
In a new interview with USA Today, Elba explains it was actually a particular scene from 2015’s The Revenant with DiCaprio that formed the base for the lion attack scenes in Beast. The actor explains that the bear attack scene in the film, which features DiCaprio’s character being brutally mauled by a CGI bear, was the “benchmark” for the lion fighting scenes in Beast. Elba explains that, since the lion in Beast is entirely CGI, he worked with stuntmen in motion capture suits to capture the intense fights. Check out Elba’s full comment below:
“The actual fighting of the lion was really difficult. There were no lions used in the making of this film. The bear sequence that Leonardo [DiCaprio] does is really realistic and is sort of a benchmark in terms of what we wanted to achieve for the audience. Because everyone who watched that was horrified.”
The Revenant, a harsh revisionist western from Alejandro González Iñárritu, ultimately earned DiCaprio his first Oscar for his portrayal of American frontiersman Hugh Glass. While Elba’s lion-fighting sequences in Beast are now confirmed to be inspired by The Revenant, it’s unclear if any other elements of the film, like its bleak tone, have also served as inspiration. From the trailers and promotional material, Beast certainly appears to be more action-oriented than The Revenant, boasting more of a popcorn-movie-type feel rather than the very serious and deliberate pacing of DiCaprio’s film.
While it’s unclear where Beast will land in Elba’s diverse filmography, the actor is currently experiencing a wave of popularity due to his appearances in a number of popular Marvel and DC superhero movies as well as his frequent fan-casting as James Bond. Elba, of course, is no stranger to action and fighting on-screen, but Beast does seem to be taking this to a new level not seen with the actor before. Thankfully, fans don’t have much longer to wait before Beast hits theaters, and they can experience Elba’s lion-fighting for themselves.
Source: USA Today