Last year, Brad Pitt reached a career high-water mark, nabbing the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a late ’60s stunt double of shaggy hair and few words in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. Coincidence then that the 57-year-old has suddenly decided to pursue performing his own stunts with new vigor?
As Greg Rementer, the second-unit director and stunt coordinator on Pitt’s just-now-wrapping-production thriller Bullet Train, exclusively tells Vulture, the actor has been largely eschewing the services of a stunt double to portray a hitman named Ladybug in the film. “Brad did 95 percent of his physical stunts — the fighting,” Rementer says. “He’s like a natural-born athlete. He really got in there!”
Bullet Train is one of the hot action properties in Hollywood right now. The new film from David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) stars Brad Pitt and revolves around a bullet train full of assassins all connected to a nefarious conspiracy. The packed cast also includes Sandra Bullock, Lady Gaga, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Joey King, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, Masi Oka, and Andrew Koji.
Collider’s Steven Weintraub recently spoke to the film’s producer, Kelly McCormick, for her new movie, Nobody, and she revealed that they’ve got about two weeks left of shooting on the film and then many months of post-production. When asked why everyone wants to jump on board, McCormick cited that the premise of the project is a lot of fun for actors who also want to work with Leitch and Pitt.
“I think the combo in what this movie is, which is kind of a crazy crime caper, is a really exciting combo for fans as well as actors,” said McCormick. “I can’t speak more highly of the picture and the experience. Every day is an absolute riot.”
One of the things that was fun about the action on this is the confined space, in that we’re basically on a bullet train for the whole picture. So, how do you… What is creative? What is original? What is fresh, with regards to that? And, that’s been a really fun challenge for David, as well as the action team headed by 2nd unit director Greg Rementer.
Also, some folks may not know that before Leitch was a massively in-demand director, he was Brad Pitt’s stunt double (hence Pitt’s surprise cameo in Deadpool 2). McCormick talked about how the dynamic has shifted now that Leitch is directing Pitt in an action movie and how the actor trained for the role:
To see them together now, you can kind of get hints of what that was, but it’s obviously completely different, because the dynamic is a little bit different. They are extraordinary partners in my opinion and are having a blast. Brad is a generous actor and a good human being. In my opinion, this is a Brad performance that we’ve never seen him do before. It’s light, it’s fun, it’s crazy, and he’s having a ball, I think. And, we are too…He trained a lot. And, part of it, I think is because he’s working for the guy who used to take the punches for him, so he has something to prove. But, even in COVID, early on, before we were shooting, we were going to his house, masking up, getting our tests, and getting him in a fighting shape. It was… He’s been very dedicated to the project.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bullet Train is the kind of big, blockbuster action spectacle that drives people to the theater, not only with the cast they’ve assembled, but with the set pieces we know Leitch can construct.
In what would mark the first time the two Oscar winners would cross paths on screen, Sources tell Deadline that Sandra Bullock is joining Brad Pitt in the Sony action pic Bullet Train. Joey King, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, Masi Oka and Andrew Koji are also on board.
Sony had no comment.
Hobbs & Shaw helmer David Leitch will direct and also supervise the script, which will be written by Zak Olkewicz.
The film is based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by bestselling author Kotaro Isaka. Ryosuke Saegusa and Yuma Terada of CTB Inc., who represent Isaka and the IP, are executive producers on the project.
Kelly McCormick will produce Bullet Train through 87North along with Antoine Fuqua. Kat Samick is exec producing and Brittany Morrissey is the executive overseeing the project for Sony Pictures. Plot details are vague, and it is unknown who Bullock will be playing.
It’s quite shocking that even though the two movie stars have been at the top of their game since the early 90s that this would mark the first time either has worked together on a feature film. The closest tie is Bullock recently starring in the Ocean’s Eleven female spin-off, Ocean’s Eight, which was a franchise Pitt helped launch when he starred in the Ocean’s Eleven remake in 2001.
Cast and crew members were sent home this week due to a coronavirus scare on the Los Angeles set of “Bullet Train,” the upcoming Brad Pitt action-thriller.
The move was made after an asymptomatic crew person tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with union protocol and out of an abundance of caution, the handful of cast and crew who had contact with the crew member went home and continued to be tested. Pitt was one of the cast members who had been in contact with the crew member.
However, there have been no additional positive test results at this point, insiders say. A source confirmed that Pitt has tested negative multiple times and was one of the members of the group who was sent home. Production on the film is continuing uninterrupted.
A spokesperson for Pitt declined to comment.
Atlanta star Zazie Beetz has rounded out the cast of Sony’s action-thriller Bullet Train starring Brad Pitt. Joey King, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Masi Oka, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman and Andrew Koji are also on board.
Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch will direct and also supervise the script, which will be written by Zak Olkewicz.
The film is based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by best-selling author Kotaro Isaka. Ryosuke Saegusa and Yuma Terada of CTB Inc., who represent Isaka and the IP, are executive producers on the project.