Movies & TV

Everything We Know About Brad Pitt Action Thriller Bullet Train

A bunch of assassins board a train, not that many get off at the other end. In other words, it's not exactly Murder on the Orient Express.
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Despite the example set by Agatha Christie, 'murder on a train' remains a criminally under-tapped plot device. So praise be for Brad Pitt's newest project, Bullet Train, which rather ups the stakes when compared to your snoozy, steam-powered Orient Express. The upcoming thriller heads east, and centres on a gang of hit men (or, considering the cast, hit persons?) taking a ride on of Japan's lightning-fast shinkansen.

Despite casting taking place during an international pandemic, Bullet Train has already announced one of the starriest global ensembles we’ve seen in a long time. But how will all these big names play together? And what can we expect from the still sketchy plot?

Here’s everything you need to know:

What’s the plot of Bullet Train?

The film is based on the Japanese novel, Maria Beetle, by mystery writer Kotaro Isaka.

There’s scant detail of the full storyline, although Deadline provides this synopsis: “Five assassins find themselves on a fast-moving bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with only a few stops in between. They discover their missions are not unrelated to one another. The question becomes, who will make it off the train alive and what awaits them at the terminal station?”

Who’s in the cast?

For a relatively unknown novel, the film has secured some major talent. First up, we have Mr Pitt, who was the first A-lister announced for the project in July last year. On the back of his name, casting presumably became rather easier, as Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Tenet), Andrew Koji (Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins), and Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi from Atlanta) were next on the roll call.

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Later in the year, Zazie Beetz (also seen in Atlanta), Masi Oka, Michael Shannon, and Logan Lerman signed up, followed by the Oscar-winning singer-turned-actor, Lady Gaga.

In yet more bad news for whoever's in charge of daily Covid tests, the cast kept growing when Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny signed on in December 2020, swiftly followed by yet another Nineties film icon, Sandra Bullock. Fact fans will be pleased to note that despite Bullock and Pitt being two of most bankable actors in Hollywood for most of the last three decades, they've never appeared in the same film together before.

In true secretive assassin style, most roles for all the cast are at this point, strictly for the eyes of the director only—the director being David Leitch, Pitt's former stuntman, who's now known for Deadpool 2 and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. But we do know that Pitt plays one of the hitmen, called Ladybug, that Joey King will star as Prince, and Taylor-Johnson will be Tangerine. Not that that clears up an awful lot.

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Is there a Bullet Train trailer?

Not yet, but Leitch has been posting some intriguing shots from the set on his Instagram, including a character being cable-tied to a train seat, and a very noir Japanese cityscape shot:

Superfans are already guessing at the identity of the actor tied to the chair, and they’re going pretty deep in their research. One Instagram sleuth said: “It’s Brad. Because of the fingers. Position of his fingers are always like this index is higher than ring and middle. Pinky is somewhere between.” If this is the level of anticipation from fans already, this film looks set to be huge.

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When is Bullet Train released?

Filming began in November 2020, so we’d guess early 2022 for this one. Tickets please!

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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