When High-speed train arrives in theaters in August, Brad Pitt won’t just find himself besieged by an army of deadly assassins – he’ll also have to fend off a rogue Pokemon. Well… sort of.
From the action movie (directed by Deadpool 2by David Leitch) is mostly set aboard the titular high-speed railway that criss-crosses all of Japan, the production team took inspiration from current Japanese culture to create what producer Kelly McCormick called “a tale of surreal fairies” during a recent interview with Empire for the latest issue of the magazine (now on sale). “It’s very different from Japan today,” she teased. “Everything is heightened, everything is a little different.”
“It’s a wish fulfillment,” Leitch – who is also a producer alongside McCormick (Atomic Blonde) and his fellow director, Antoine Fuqua (The equalizer) — explained in the publication. “It’s our version of Japan so this story gives us the freedom to do something that can break the rules.”
This idea of taking what already exists and filling it with summer adrenaline is best exemplified by the arrival of Momomon, an innocent-looking costumed mascot based on a fictional anime character. “We were just looking at the outfits of the conductors [and] there was a whole Pokemon-themed car on one of the trains,” Leitch recalled. “That says a lot about some of the crazy things you might find on a Tokyo train.”
Despite Momomon’s outward cuteness, the big-headed mascot (who just happens to have an official TikTok page) is ready to slit his throat or two when Pitt’s character – codenamed Ladybug – appears on the locomotive with a briefcase. mystery that everyone wants to put on their mittens.
What starts out as a simple pick-up and delivery mission turns into an edge-of-your-seat fight for survival as Ladybug takes on a number of killers for hire with more humble nicknames like Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine. (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The latest thrill ride from a trailer, which you can check out below, reveals that all the mayhem can be traced to a dangerous gang leader calling himself the “White Death.”
Since the logistics of filming aboard a real bullet train would have been an absolute nightmare to figure out, Leitch and his team built their own full-scale copy on a soundstage in Los Angeles. The director was incredibly involved during the planning and construction, even having a say in “where the blood should splatter,” Henry revealed to Empire. “It’s so detailed.”
To give his actors a greater sense of immersion, Leitch ditched the idea of immediately using green screens, opting instead for high-quality LED video screens. It was so compelling, in fact, that some of the cast and crew “got motion sickness,” Pitt admitted. “It was so invigorating. Soundstages can get very musty, very bland. It can sound very fake and fake. But with this kind of technology, it was like being on a train every day.”
Joey King (The act), Andrew Koji (Snake-eyes), Hiroyuki Sanada (mortal combat), Michael Shannon (Knives out), Benito A Martínez Ocasio (aka Bad Bunny) and Sandra Bullock (The lost city) completes the cast. Brent O’Connor (Power Rangers), Ryosuke Saegusa, Yuma Terada and Kat Samick (Infinite) are on board as executive producers. Zak Olkewicz (Fear Street: Part Two – 1978listen)) adapted the screenplay from Kōtarō Isaka’s 2010 novel.
High-speed train leaves the station and in cinemas everywhere on Friday August 5th.
Looking for more wild action in the meantime? Jurassic World Dominion is now playing in theaters everywhere and features plenty of high-speed combat (just, you know, with dinosaurs).
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