The Revenant is based on Michael Punke's novel, which is itself based on the true story of Hugh Glass. A man of many adventures, Glass goes West in 1822 in the employ of Captain Andrew Henry to do some profitable fur trapping. Glass is attacked by a bear, and badly injured. Miraculously, he survives, but the terrain makes it impossible to carry him back. Henry tries, but eventually hires two mercenaries to simply stand watch and bury him. They abandon Glass, alone and defenseless, but unfortunately for them, he recovers. He resolves to hunt down the men who abandoned him. The story has actually been done before as Man in the Wilderness, with Richard Harris as the mauled man out for revenge, but I wouldn't go so far as to call this a remake. It's history!
CHUD notes that The Revenant was once set up to be directed by Chan Wook Park, and set to star Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson continued to be attached after Park's departure, but apparently the revival of the project has left him behind. (Probably due to that massive Marvel contract.) That would have been a fascinating pair to tackle this story. If there's one downside to the Hillcoat and Bale version, it's that we know what kind of grim, bloody adventure we're going to get.