By Javier Romualdo
Los Angeles, Aug 3 (EFE).- One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, the world’s most popular Latino singer and a cast of wild and crazy characters on board a bullet train. Those are the ingredients with which “Bullet Train” – the film reuniting Brad Pitt and Bad Bunny – wants to conquer theater box offices this summer.
“It was a benefit of riches to have such a beautiful cast come together. A lot of that is a testament to directing a Brad Pitt movie. I think Brad is such a humble, gracious collaborator, but he’s also the best in the business, and so when it’s Brad (there are) a lot of people raising their hand (wanting to join the cast),” David Leitch, the director of the frenetic and violent action comedy that hits moviehouses this weekend.
Besides featuring two of the world’s most prominent celebrities, the film also brings together Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry and Andrew Koji to give extra oomph to an ensemble cast where nobody is a good guy, nobody is a hero and, of course, nobody has good intentions.
With a unique style, “Bullet Train” is the adaptation of the same-named novel by Kotaro Isaka which follows a hit-man (Pitt) dealing with a full-blown existential crisis during his bullet train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto with the mission of recovering a valuable briefcase abandoned in one of the cars.
What the protagonist does not expect is that on board the high-velocity train are several more of the planet’s deadliest assassins, each one engrossed in their own missions until quarrels and feuds erupt among them, and some of them are even after the same briefcase, transforming the train journey into a crazy and bloody chaos.
He said it was very exciting to be able to develop an original idea nowadays in the film industry, adding that normally a director takes on a task within a film franchise or in an already existing film universe, but on “Bullet Train” they started from “zero.”
Convinced that the “tone is everything in a movie,” the filmmaker did not lack for inspiration and used as his reference points in making the film the eccentricity of actor-director Quentin Tarantino “with a little bit of Guy Ritchie and a little bit of John Woo” thrown into the mix.
“Yes, I’ve absorbed all those things as an artist, but what’s come out on ‘Bullet Train’ is uniquely me,” added Leitch, who made his surrealist debut by directing the second film in the “Deadpool” saga.
Although the director attributes the recognizable style of “Bullet Train” to the influence of certain other Hollywood icons, he also praised Pitt’s “instincts” in rounding out a character who evolved from a sociopath in the first draft of the script into a “self-help guru” with a lot of problems.
“Every one of these actors had ideas about their character that we collaborated on and we’re really excited to bring them to life in a special way,” he said.
Pitt, very secure in the role of an anarchist, is the fundamental piece of the puzzle lasting more than two hours, which also benefits from the cheeky nerve of Joey King, as a ruthless princess of violence, and the complicity between Taylor-Johnson and Turee Henry as a pair of hired-killer brothers.
However, Sony Pictures, the studio that brought “Bullet Train” to the screen, had no doubt that the film’s big lure would be Benito A. Martinez Ocasio, better known to the world at large as Bad Bunny.
The character the famous singer plays is a Mexican hit man with a desire for revenge, a character whose part was written for a much older actor, Leitch said.
But “Kelly McCormick, my producer, and my wife … told me we should consider Benito, he’s amazing, he did (good) stuff on ‘Narcos,’ you should see his work … And we had a meeting (with him) and he was … perfect,” the director said. “Young, fresh-faced, full of passion.”