On the occasion of the release of “Beast”, in which Idris Elba and his family are hunted by a man-eating lion, here are five things to know about this survival directed by Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”).
What is it about ? Dr. Nate Daniels returns to South Africa, where he once met his late wife, to spend a long-planned vacation with his two daughters at a nature reserve run by old friend Martin Battles. family, wildlife biologist. But this saving rest will turn into a test of survival when a lion thirsting for revenge, the only survivor of the bloodthirsty hunt of vile poachers, begins to devour every human on his way and chases the doctor and his family.
He knows about survival!
Beast is directed by Baltasar Kormakur, a director who knows a thing or two about survival films. We owe him so Everestwhich retraces the 1996 disaster in which eight mountaineers perished, as well as To survivebased on an incredible true story: that of an Icelandic sailor who, after a shipwreck, managed to swim back to the coast in icy water…
Baltasar Kormákur has always had a fascination for wild animals and Africa. When he was a child, he collected pictures of lions that he cut out of magazines. He specifies: “I wanted to find a film about survival, about a man alone facing unleashed nature. A bit like Jaws or the documentary Suspended Death.”
Off to South Africa
Beast was entirely shot in South Africa in Cape Town (the capital) and especially in the Limpopo region (in the north of the country), in natural settings. Baltasar Kormákur recalls:
“The South African jungle was the perfect setting to echo the terror of this family trapped in a conflict that is beyond them and that they will have to face at the risk of their lives. I was surprised by the cold as it is in South Africa in the evening and at night, even though I am from Iceland.”
“And it was not easy to film at night, because we had to light all the scenes in the African bush as much as possible. Not to mention that we sometimes had to film far from any big city, and adapt to the comfort and joys of the camping.”
If films with killer animals abound since Jaws (1975), those featuring lions thirsty for human blood are not so numerous. The reference in the manner is undoubtedly The Shadow and the Prey (1997) by Stephen Hopkinsin which Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer are confronted by two man-eating big cats.
Idris Elba’s daughter fails!
Isan Elbathe daughter ofIdris Elba, auditioned to play one of Dr. Nate Daniels’ two daughters, but was unsuccessful. The reason ? A lack of chemistry with his father. The actor even revealed that, following this “failure”, she no longer spoke to him for three weeks! Aged 20, Isan aims to become an actress. She has, for the moment, played in the horror short film Crimson Ties realized by Francesca Scorsesewho is none other than the daughter of Martin Scorsese.
No real lions!
Idris Elba never faced a real lion on set: stock footage was used to illustrate certain scenes and, the rest (and the majority) of the time, the imposing feline was designed digitally. So that the actors and the technical team could better imagine the physical presence of the animal, a stuntman dressed in gray “embodied” it during the rehearsals (by engaging in a very precise choreography and provided with a headgear the size of the predator’s head). The scenes were then shot without him, to facilitate the insertion of the digital lion.