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The Wolf Of Wall Street’s opening scene had a real lion and not CGI - Did you know?

The 2013 release of Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese one of the most celebrated films of all time. 

The Wolf Of Wall Street’s opening scene had a real lion and not CGI - Did you know?
The Wolf Of Wall Street Lion Scene

Last Updated: 07.36 PM, May 24, 2024


Some film partnerships are iconic, and some become legendary. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s partnership is a step away from being the latter. The two have together given some six movies to the film world, and fans are thankful. Many films may come and go, but their partnership will always be remembered for the cult classic The Wolf of Wall Street. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead, is one of the most revered movies in the filmographies of both legends. While the movie has a lot of sex, more camp, and a whole lot of drama, there is one scene that we have always been fascinated with: the one where a lion walks in the opening of the movie. But what if we told you that it is a real lion the team shot with and not CGI? 


The Lion Scene

In case you cannot recall, the opening scene of The Wolf of Wall Street is iconic. It depicts a bustling office where chaos is at its peak. Amid the hustle and noise, we suddenly see a lion appearing out of nowhere and walking in the most majestic manner. However, what is even more quirky is that none of the people around in the office move an eyelid with a lion among them. They continue to be part of the robotic chaos and no one pays any attention to the danger walking between them.\

The scene serves as a coded metaphor for a movie that explores complex stories. But to give you an idea, that scene was shot with a real lion and real people involved. Yes, you read that right. VFX legend Robert Legato, in his chat with Corridor Crew, revealed how he managed to shoot and bring in a real lion for the most iconic opening scene that cinema has ever seen.

Behind the Lion Scene

Robert Legato, while talking about the opening scene of The Wolf of Wall Street, revealed how he got the lion for a day and built a special cage. He would simultaneously shoot the lion and then the people in the cage and then merge them together. “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 Wolf of Wall Street is an iconic movie, a comedy derived from a real-life story, and Martin Scorsese is forever revered for making the movie. The film is streaming on Lionsgate Play and can be accessed with your OTTplay Premium subscription. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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