animal cruelty

No, Leonardo DiCaprio Is Not Raped by a Bear in The Revenant

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

A lot of gnarly shit goes down in the new Leonardo DiCaprio–led film The Revenant, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and opening on Christmas Day. It’s a frontier-set revenge story, after all, where DiCaprio’s injured fur trapper is left for dead by his comrades, then must crawl through grime and muck and lurch through the forest in order to exact his revenge. The movie is bloody and violent, and there’s no doubt about that.

However, one thing I can assure you the film lacks is bear rape.

This is not an article I expected to write today, but then I saw a siren-GIF’d headline at the Drudge Report that announced in all caps: “DICAPRIO RAPED BY BEAR IN FOX MOVIE!” (One assumes that if he had been raped by a bear in a Paramount movie, it would have been handled with more decorum?) According to Matt Drudge’s misinformed source, when DiCaprio is attacked by the ursine creature near the beginning of the movie, “The bear flips Leo over and thrusts and thrusts during the explicit mauling.” Adds the source, for emphasis, “He is raped — twice!”

Not rape.

Now, I have seen this movie. DiCaprio is indeed mauled by a very pissed-off bear: That bear slashes Leo’s throat, flips him over, and goes to town on Leo’s back with such ferocity that I may never scratch my back again. But the bear is using its claws to attack Leo, not its … well, you know. This is all handled on the up-and-up, as far as bear attacks are concerned.

More to the point, I’m pretty sure it’s a female bear? I don’t presume to say that female bears are not capable of raping Leonardo DiCaprio because, you know, someone in the comments is going to point out some other time that it’s happened to Leo and I’ll probably look stupid, but since the bear attack is preceded by DiCaprio stepping gingerly into a stretch of wilderness filled with baby bears, I’m fairly certain that the ensuing maul is motivated mostly by an overzealous mama protecting her kin.

There is one point where the bear sort of spoons Leo, though the bear is kind of dead by then. (Sorry, I guess that’s a spoiler, if you thought maybe the bear would survive and then become friends and co-leads with DiCaprio. It doesn’t and they don’t.) So take my word for it: While a great many horrible things happen to Leo in The Revenant, bear rape is not among them. As long as nothing untoward happens in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, then, your Christmas moviegoing season should be blessedly bereft of animals trying to bang movie stars. Happy holidays!

No, Leonardo DiCaprio Is Not Raped by a Bear