Brad Pitt and David Leitch are old pals. Before carving out a name for himself on John Wick, Leitch took bumps as Pitt’s stunt double on films like Ocean’s 11 and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and eventually convinced Pitt to pay him back for all those bruises with a cameo in Deadpool 2. Now, per The Hollywood Reporter, the pair are teaming up in earnest for an action-thriller called Bullet Train.
Leitch will direct the project, an adaptation of Kotaro Isaka’s Maria Beetle, while Pitt will star as “Ladybug,” an American hitman who finds himself on a Tokyo train with a whole mess of his deadly colleagues. While the Wickian energy is strong here, it’s being described as a high-octane blend of Speed and Non-Stop, which, yes, that is something we would like to see. As for the script, it comes from relative newcomer Zak Olkewicz, who penned that upcoming Fear Street movie and, perhaps more importantly, is the son of Walter “Twin Peaks’ Jacques Renault” Olkewicz.
THR characterizes the project as being uniquely suited for the COVID era, as it can be filmed on a contained set where it’s easier to abide by health restrictions than if it were shooting on location. As such, the plan is to begin shooting as soon as this fall.
Though it’s not the kind of role we expected Pitt to take after winning his first acting Oscar this year, we can’t fault him for wanting to begin his transition into greying badass, a growing inevitability for Hollywood’s aging heartthrobs.