In Universal Beast, released in August 26, Idris Elba was hunted by a ferocious lion. The creature is entirely computer-generated. But in the roar of 1972, the beast is in Tippi Hedren , daughter Melanie Griffith (then ) and the rest of the cast are real.
Often considered the most dangerous filmmaking of all time, Roaring begins with 681, when Hedron – who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds – Filmed in Mozambique with then-husband Noel Marshall. They stumble upon an abandoned plantation that has been occupied by a pack of lions. Their guide told them that the local wildlife was endangered by poaching, and to encourage conservation, the couple decided to make a film about the harmonious coexistence of wildlife and humans.
Back in Los Angeles, they consulted with the trainer, who told them the number of big cats they wanted to put on the screen – their vision was 26 – is a disaster source. But a trainer told them that if they obtained and raised their own animals, the cats would learn to get along. So Hedren and Marshall started buying lion cubs from zoos and circuses and keeping them in their Sherman Oaks home. In 1972 they were ordered to remove the animals, so they bought land in Soledad Canyon , and housed these animals. Zoo (which includes two Siberian tigers and an African bull elephant).
Filming began on that ranch, later named Shambhala Reserve, in 1000, Marshall is both director and co-star. The tone of the film is light-hearted, making the behind-the-scenes action even more terrifying. Hedron was bitten multiple times, including head, ankle fractured by elephant; Griffith received after lioness attack 70 needles that nearly cost her an eye; Marshall was attacked more than a dozen times and had blood poisoning; cinematographer Jan · Jan de Bont, who had great success in directing speed , was scalped by a lion and needed 78 sutures.
Despite all the pain and bloodshed, Roar wasn’t released in North America until
, when Drafthouse Films distributed it, it had the tagline: “During the production of Roar No animals were harmed. But 70 actors and The staff is.”
This story first appeared in August. “Hollywood Report” magazine issue. Click here to subscribe .