The Brad Pitt action blockbuster Bullet Train will start streaming on Netflix next week.
After cementing its place as a box office success, Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train is heading to Netflix. The news was revealed by the streaming platform on social media and the film will be available to subscribers in the United States starting December 3rd. The movie, which was theatrically distributed by Sony Pictures, is already available on various video-on-demand platforms, allowing fans to relive the action by renting or purchasing a copy.
Starring Brad Pitt, Bullet Train is based on the novel Maria Beetle by Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka. The book was eventually published under the name Bullet Train in countries where English is the primary language. The screenplay was developed by Zak Olkewicz, with David Leitch serving as director and producer.
Kelly McCormick, Antoine Fuqua, Ryosuke Saegusa, Yuma Terada, Brent O’Connor, and Kat Samick also produce in varying capacities.
Bullet Train tells the story of an assassin named Ladybug (Brad Pitt) who wants to leave the dangerous business. But when his handler Maria Beetle calls with one last assignment, he is lured back in. Now, Ladybug has to collect a briefcase in transit on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Once on board, he meets four more assassins and realizes that their objectives are connected. That’s when things become very complicated and chaos ensues.
Brad Pitt leads the ensemble cast for Bullet Train. Joey King stars as The Prince, a young woman disguised as a schoolgirl who is manipulating the assassins. Aaron Taylor-Johnson appears as Tangerine, a British assassin and Lemon’s twin brother. Brian Tyree Henry is featured as Lemon, another British assassin who is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine.
Masi Oka, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Karen Fukuhara, and Bad Bunny also star.
Sandra Bullock is featured as Maria Beetle, Ladybug’s contact and handler. She replaced Lady Gaga after the singer had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train premiered in Paris on July 18, 2022, and was theatrically released on August 5th.
The film was a hit at the global box office, earning $239.3 million on a production budget of just $90 million.
However, despite a stellar performance from Brad Pitt, Bullet Train received mixed reviews from critics. The movie currently holds a modest 53% critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The site’s general consensus is very forgiving, stating that the colorful cast and high-speed action are almost enough to keep things going after the story falls flat.
But it seems like the action was the main focus of the creative team.
In an interview with Empire, David Leitch (who previously worked on John Wick and Deadpool 2) said most of the action sequences were inspired by Jackie Chan movies. He explained that the fight scenes were designed to enhance the characters, while also including some physical comedy. “We’re here to have fun in this super-contained space,” he told the publication about the Brad Pitt starrer.
Sadly, the movie wasn’t without some controversy. The casting of several non-Asian actors, including Brad Pitt and Joey King in Bullet Train, resulted in accusations of whitewashing. Their characters were Japanese in Kōtarō Isaka’s novel.
The biggest criticism came from the Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League, David Inoue.
He argued that while American actors like Brad Pitt would have been appropriate if Bullet Train was set in the United States, the filmmakers replicated the source material, but kept Japanese characters in the background. This strengthened charges of whitewashing. Inoue also questioned the actors’ allyship with the Asian community for knowingly accepting these roles.