The Marketeers Club: UNP might as well publish Leonardo DiCaprio

Rosemary Vestal is the publicity manager for UNP. She recently purchased this shirt. 

Ever heard of a little movie called The Revenant?

Of course you have. Not only is the movie based on a book (most good ones are), it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass and Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald. If you haven’t read the book, seen the movie, watched the trailer, read about this famous true story, or you live somewhere without internet, here are the basics:

It’s based on a true story of a group of frontiersmen exploring unknown wilderness in 1823. Hugh Glass gets attacked by a bear and is left for dead by the others. DiCaprio, err . . . Glass, then must use all his manliness to survive the elements and get home to his loved ones.

This epic tale (based on The Revenant by Michael Punke) was filmed in Argentina, Canada, and Montana. In the book, the frontiersmen are trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and even cross the Platte River in our beloved Nebraska. Speaking of Nebraska . . . .

9780803235236-Perfect.inddThis isn’t the first time Hugh Glass’ story has been told. In fact, just type “Hugh Glass” in to Amazon books and you’ll get an apt Western list of Hugh Glass accounts. Sixth on the list is Lord Grizzly by Frederick Manfred (Bison Books, 1983). While this version of the Western classic is a bit older, it’s still the Hugh Glass story and his transformation into “Lord Grizzly” after being mauled by a bear. Bison Books published a second edition in 2011.

Go even deeper into the Bison Books backlist and you’ll find The Saga of Hugh Glass: Pirate, Pawnee, and Mountain Man (1976).

And even farther into the backlist, you’ll find a poem by John G. Neihardt written in 1915 titled, “The Song of Hugh Glass” published in his A Cycle of the West (Bison Books, 2002).

As a result, UNP finds itself at the core of an important trend in popular history and yet we don’t have the movie rights. Fortunately, because of DiCaprio and the associated interest because of the new movie, we may find ourselves at the heart of a new fixation in the news.

Sunday night, (SPOILER ALERT) as Leonardo thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press and others for his Golden Globe win, he also thanked “all the first nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world.” He went on to say, “It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them. It is time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations.”

Well, Leo, the University of Nebraska Press has a strong history of publishing that very voice and we are proud to do so.


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