In this weekend's Beast movie, Idris Elba takes on a massive lion as Dr. Nate Samuels on what becomes a mission to protect his two daughters. The film comes with plenty of terror and slashes from massive lion claws. However, those scary moments in the film might have been a little taste of the fear some filmmakers on set may have felt with close encounters! Beast director Baltasar Kormákur spoke with ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview where he revealed that hyenas on the film's African set started interfering with their production and ultimately destroyed some of the crew's equipment!
"I didn't just want any Africa," Kormákur said. "I wanted Africa in its full glory, so I want to get out to the savannas. I wanted the desert and then I needed the studios in Cape Town. And also I'm living my life too, I want to see Africa. But that was, this kind of a challenge and shooting it in the elements. And it was winter. It was cold, in the night shifts were colder than Iceland. I'm telling you."
Beast looks like it is taking place in some golden, hot landscapes but the set was actually quite cold. "South Africa was a big character in the film," Elba said. "By the way, it wasn't hot, no, it was their winter, so it was freezing...It looks sunny, the sun's always shining. But yeah, sometimes an environment becomes part of the show and this definitely is."
While Kormákur added, "it's weirdly colder," the temperature was hardly the strangest or potentially terrifying encounter on set. "There were hyenas eating our cables," the director revealed. "Yeah. Boomslangs. We had to get away from a boomslang because he was blocking our entrance into the set." A boomslang, by the way, is a venomous snake.
"There was an hyena," Kormákur said. "I'm not sure, am I allowed to say this. But it was a hyena that bit a cable and turned off the lights in the middle of this shoot."
Fortunately, it seems the cast was kept completely safe from the wildlife encounters. Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries, the cast members who portray Nate's daughters Meredith and Norah, respectively, sound like they had a great time taking in all of the sights which South Africa had to offer. "We saw baboons, horses," Halley said. "Well, I would wake up in the morning and see out horses outside of my door. Monkeys! All types of different things that I'm not used to."
"It was really beautiful," Jeffries added. "We never had any contact with like any of the animals." it seems that was saved for the production equipment! "They were all beautiful," she said. "They were doing their own thing. I would wake up, and I would see beautiful birds, and I would see the little itty bitty, muskrats."
Now, audiences can go see the massive lion Beast has to offer and other animal cameos that might come with it, though they are digitally added into the film with no actual lions having been used on set. Are you excited to see Beast? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter. Beast is now playing in theaters.