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The Smart Way Bullet Train's Director Convinced Ryan Reynolds To 'Pay Back' The Favor Brad Pitt Had Done In Deadpool 2

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains light spoilers for Bullet Train. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!

David Leitch's Bullet Train doesn't just have an amazing ensemble cast; the film also features a number of stellar cameos. And while it's unquestionably the shortest of the bunch, the quick appearance by Ryan Reynolds in the third act is most definitely a highlight. In hindsight, it's not too surprising that the Canadian actor would show up in the movie, given that he previously worked with Leitch on both Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw – but what you probably don't know is the specific way that the director got Reynolds on board the project.

Reflecting on Deadpool 2, you may remember that Brad Pitt cameos as the invisible member of the X-Force, The Vanisher – though his role entirely consists of depicting the character's death via electrocution. In an interview with Insider, David Leitch explained that he only needed to remind Ryan Reynolds of that fun bit to get him involved with Bullet Train, as it ostensibly became Reynolds' way of saying "thank you." Said Leitch,

Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

I just pitched him the idea of, ’Why don’t you pay back Brad for the cameo in Deadpool 2?' That’s really all it took. He was like, ‘I’m in.’ He was really grateful that Brad did that for him so he really wanted to support us on this.

Ryan Reynolds' role in the 2022 action film is quite possibly the exact same size as Brad Pitt's role in Deadpool 2 – though his character definitely has more impact on the movie's plot. At the end of Bullet Train, it's revealed by Michael Shannon's The White Death that all of the assassins in the ensemble were purposefully put on the titular high-speed rain together so that they would all end up killing one another... and Brad Pitt's Ladybug is the only one who is there by mistake. Ladybug only got the call to be on the train when another professional killer named Carver called out sick, and movie-goes see Reynolds play Carver in an extremely brief flashback. 

As Brad Pitt explained in an interview with CinemaBlend last month, it's all part of a wheel of cameos that the Bullet Train star wants to keep rolling. Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock both have surprise roles in the August blockbuster as a follow-up to The Lost City – which hit theaters back in March and features a special appearance by Pitt in a small supporting role. What will Pitt, Reynolds, Tatum, and Bullock get up to next together, and who else can they bring into the fun? Only time will tell.

Starring Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Zazie Beetz, Logan Lerman, Joey King, Hiroyuki Sanada, Andrew Koji, and more in addition to Brad Pitt, Bullet Train is still playing in theaters everywhere and got back to second place in the box office rankings this weekend.

Check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar to learn about all of the other films set to be released in what remains of the year.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.