The film features the actor as 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass, who plots revenge on his fellow travellers after they leave him for dead following a brutal bear attack.

A rumour picked up on The Drudge Report last week (01Dec15) suggested the film features "a shocking scene of a wild bear raping Leo DiCaprio", and it was republished all over the Internet, prompting studio bosses at Fox to issue a statement to clear up the unfounded claims.

"As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the bear in the film is a female who attacks Hugh Glass because she feels he might be threatening her cubs...," the statement, released to Entertainment Weekly, read. "There is clearly no rape scene with a bear."

Now Alejandro has opened up about the bizarre rumour, admitting he was shocked at how easily the press was duped into believing the far-fetched story.

"It's almost a Saturday Night Live (U.S. comedy show) skit," he tells the Los Angeles Times. "It's fantastic.

"I find it hilarious, and pathetic in a way. You have one guy in a garage inventing something that's then shared by somebody else. And then a newspaper acknowledges it as news, and then it triggers papers around the world..."

"What's unbelievable is the validation," the Birdman filmmaker continues. "When I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. But then it gets validation, and the studio actually has to release a statement that there was no bear rape. It's like a crazy mad comedy."