Leonardo DiCaprio’s Film The Wolf of Wall Street’s Epic Lion Scene Was Shot in an Unbelievable Way

The story behind the lion scene in The Wolf of Wall street reveals the fascinating work done by the VFX team of the film.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese have collaborated 6 times over the years. The director-actor duo have never repeated themselves and have constantly worked on reinventing themselves each time. From historical epics, crime dramas, to psychological thrillers, the two have become the ideal pairing that can do no wrong.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street

One of their wild collaborations was the 2013 biographical black comedy film The Wolf of Wall Street. One of the craziest scenes from the film was a lion casually walking through the Stratton Oakmont firm in the presence of office workers. While Scorsese did use a real lion and real people for the scene, a brilliant strategy was used to seamlessly blend them together.

VFX Artist Took a Unique Strategy to Shoot The Lion Scene in The Wolf of Wall Street

This scene from The Wolf of Wall Street was pulled off by a mix of practical and CG elementsThis scene from The Wolf of Wall Street was pulled off by a mix of practical and CG elements

Leonardo DiCaprio starrer The Wolf of Wall Street was one of his unique collaborations with Martin Scorsese where they committed to a wild and outrageous comedy based on a true story. DiCaprio played the real-life former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who committed numerous frauds and scams while working at Stratton Oakmont.
Scorsese’s film took that premise and dialed it to an 11 featuring outrageous NSFW scenes filled with drugs, s*x, and debauchery. However, that was not the only wild aspect of the film. The beginning minutes of the film show a lion casually walking inside the office amidst the chaotic atmosphere of the office and its employees.

VFX legend Robert Legato revealed on Corridor Crew’s newest episode of VFX Artists React (on YouTube) that the film used a real lion for the scene but a clever VFX technique was employed to shoot the particular scene. Legato stated that he got the lion for one day and let a trainer lead the lion through the office as seen in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Later, they shot the same scene without the lion with people included. In the end, Legato and his team seamlessly blended the two and made it look like one shot. He said

“I got the lion for one day, we had to build a special cage. We couldn’t have the lion anywhere near you. I’d shoot a shot and then he (the trainer and the lion) would go, and they’d lock him back up and we put the people in. Every shot was done that way”

The power and magic of VFX are pretty amazing and Legato’s comments are a fascinating filmmaking aspect as to how such a wild scene was done that looks very real in the film. Scorsese being the master, must have suggested the use of a real lion to pull off this amazing feat with his VFX team led by Legato.

Martin Scorsese May Face Uphill Battle With His Frank Sinatra Biopic Yet Again

In addition to music, Frank Sinatra excelled in films such as The Man with the Golden ArmIn addition to music, Frank Sinatra excelled in films such as The Man with the Golden Arm
It was recently announced that Martin Scorsese will be reteaming with Leonardo DiCaprio for a biopic on the acclaimed American music icon Frank Sinatra. Scorsese has already tried to get a biopic done on Sinatra before. In a 2016 interview with The Toronto Sun, the director revealed that things did not work out with the project.
Scorsese stated that there were certain issues and aspects regarding how he wanted to approach the biopic that the surviving members of the Sinatra family were not comfortable with. He wanted to explore the singer’s dark side (his violent and hard-drinking behavior along with his connections with organized crime via The Guardian). While Scorsese understands their concerns, he wants the biopic to be a proper exploration of Sinatra if he were to do it. He said,“We can’t do it! I think it is finally over. They [remaining members of the Sinatra clan] won’t agree to it. Open it up again and I’m there! Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand. But, if they expect me to be doing it, they can’t hold back certain things. The problem is that the man was so complex. Everybody is so complex — but Sinatra in particular.”

Scorsese may have to face a similar battle yet again as Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra has not yet given her approval for the project. Nevertheless, Variety reported that Jennifer Lawrence has been tapped in to star as Sinatra’s second wife Ava Gardner. It remains to be seen whether Scorsese and Sinatra’s family can find a middle ground so that the project happens this time.

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