Director David Leitch is hardly a stranger to the world of action filmmaking. After spending years working in the stunts realm, he made his directorial debut with 2014’s John Wick, which he worked on with Chad Stahelski. Since then, Leitch has helmed Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw, and next up, he’ll tackle Bullet Train, based on the Japanese novel “Maria Beetle” by Kotaro Isaka, for Sony Pictures.
Specific plot details concerning Bullet Train are still being kept under wraps, but the movie reportedly revolves around a group of assassins with opposing motives who are all riding the same train to Tokyo. So who will star in the next David Leitch-directed action fest, which is being written by Zak Olkewicz? That’s what we’re laying out below, so take a look at the faces that will make up Bullet Train’s main cast, starting with one of Hollywood’s top stars, Brad Pitt.
Shortly after the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt said he would act in fewer movies going forward. Evidently he deemed Bullet Train worthy of his time, as Pitt will be starring as the lead character, a hitman named Ladybug. Pitt and David Leitch previously worked together on Deadpool 2, where the former cameoed as Vanisher, who we only briefly saw when he was being electrocuted to death. So Bullet Train will give them a chance to become much better acquainted, and it’ll be see how this compares to Pitt’s previous action outings, such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith and World War Z.
Some of you might remember Joey King from films like Ramona and Beezus, The Dark Knight Rises and Oz the Great and Powerful, but nowadays she’s best known for Netflix’s The Kissing Booth movies, Hulu’s The Act, FX’s Fargo and Blumhouse’s The Lie, among other things. While Bullet Train won’t mark King’s first foray into action movies, this will definitely be her biggest action platform yet, though her assassin character hasn’t been revealed yet.
Those of you who’ve seen the Cinemax series Warrior are already well acquainted with Andrew Koji, and G.I. Joe fans will see him bring Storm Shadow to life in next year’s Snake Eyes. Now Bullet Train is the latest opportunity for Koji to show off his action cred, and count on him standing out among the other main cast members with his martial arts skills.
During the first half of last decade, Aaron Taylor-Johnson drew attention for playing Dave Lizewski in the Kick-Ass movies, Quicksilver in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Ford Brody in Godzilla. More recently, Taylor-Johnson has popped in Outlaw King, A Million Little Pieces and Tenet, and it looks like Bullet Train will follow up his appearance in next year’s The King’s Man. According to THR’s Borys Kit, Johnson will play an assassin nicknamed Tangerine, and he’s not the only citrus-themed killer of the bunch.
Brian Tyree Henry
The latest update on the Bullet Train casting front is that Brian Tyree Henry has joined the ensemble, with THR’s Borys Kit adding that his assassin character will be named Lemon. If you’re an avid consumer of movies, then it’s hard to imagine you haven’t seen Henry in anything over the last several years, as his notable credits include Widows, If Beale Street Could Talk, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Child’s Play and Joker. Along with Bullet Train, Henry also has Godzilla vs. Kong, Eternals and plenty of other projects coming up.
Like Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz is a member of Atlanta’s main cast, but if you haven’t seen her on that series, you likely remember her for her roles as Domino in Deadpool 2 or Sophie in Joker. Now Beetz is hopping aboard Bullet Train, though no details about her character have been revealed yet. That said, if we see her on the eponymous form of transportation, then it’d be logical to infer she’ll be one of its assassin travelers.
Masi Oka kicked off his time in Hollywood working at Industrial Light & Magic as a digital effects artist, but in the 2000s, he began his acting career. Most of you likely remember him best either as the time-traveling Hiro Nakamura on Heroes or coroner Max Bergman on Hawaii 5-0, while his resume also includes Get Smart, Friends with Benefits and The Meg. As with Zazie Beetz, there’s no word on who Oka is playing in Bullet Train yet; maybe he’s one of the assassins, maybe he’s involved in a different way.
Some of you may know Michael Shannon best as General Zod in Man of Steel, while others followed along with him playing Nelson Van Alden in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Or maybe you prefer one of his other credits more, like Revolutionary Road, 99 Homes, Elvis & Nixon, The Shape of Water or Knives Out. In any case, Shannon has clearly been around the Hollywood block, and among his future endeavors will be boarding Bullet Train. No details about Shannon’s character have been revealed yet.
The latest addition to the Bullet Train cast is Logan Lerman, who some of you have seen recently on television playing Jonah Heildelbaum in Amazon Prime Video’s Hunters. Lerman’s notable film credits include 3:10 to Yuma, the Percy Jackson movies, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah and Fury. There’s no word yet on who Lerman is playing in Bullet Train and how big his role in the movie will be.
American audiences have gotten to know Hiroyuki Sanada over the years in movies like The Wolverine, Mr. Holmes, Life and Avengers: Endgame, as well as seeing him in TV like Lost, Revenge and Westworld. Sanada has more exciting projects coming up, including the Mortal Kombat reboot and the Zack Snyder-directed Army of the Dead, and now we can throw Bullet Train into the mix too. There’s no word yet on how his character fits into the action-packed picture.
Bad Bunny is a Latin Grammy-award winning singer who performed earlier this year alongside Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Acting-wise though, Mr. Bunny is just getting started. We already knew he’d be appearing soon in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and the movie American Sole, and now word’s come in that he’ll appear in Bullet Train. The fact that he’s already scored an action gig is impressive, although no information was provided about how big Bad Bunny’s role will be.
Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock have been active in the Hollywood space for roughly the same amount of time, but Bullet Train will mark their first time working together. Bullock is no stranger to working on action movies, with her resume including Demolition Man, Speed and The Heat. In recent years, Bullock has shown up in Ocean’s 8 and Bird Box, and the former movie is of particular interest since Pitt starred in the original Ocean’s trilogy. So they’ve both played characters who exist in the same world, but never crossed paths.
Bullet Train doesn’t have an assigned release date yet and it’s unclear when it will begin filming, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for that information and more updates on its progress. Don’t forget to see what movies are supposed to hit the silver screen in the near future with our 2021 release schedule.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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