Mark L. Smith wrote the screenplay, adapted from Michael Punke's novel. The story centers on Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in the 1820s who is mauled by a bear during a fur trapping expedition. Two men stay behind to look after him, but, thinking Hugh won't survive, they rob him and leave him for dead. When the man recovers, he goes out to seek revenge on the two men who abandoned him. Leonardo DiCaprio is being considered for Hugh Glass, and Sean Penn may play one of the men who robs him.
If the cast falls into place, The Revenant could start shooting as early as next fall.