One Bullet Train Sequence That Was A Giant Pain To Film With Brad Pitt And Brian Tyree Henry

 Brad Pitt and Bryan Tyree Henry sitting across from each other on a train and talking.
Brad Pitt and Bryan Tyree Henry sitting across from each other on a train and talking.

David Leitch is a former stuntman who has become an accomplished director, so we can expect that any action in his movies is going to go the extra mile. That was certainly the case with Bullet Train which had some incredible action including a complex fight sequence with Brad Pitt and Brian Tyree Henry that, despite it's fixed location, took a lot of extra work to film.

Appearing on Corridor Crew, David Leitch spoke about the “silent” fight scene in Bullet Tain, which sees Brad Pitt and Brian Tyree Henry attempt to kill each other while trying not to bother the rest of the people in the quiet car. Leitch explained that the setup for the sequence was incredibly complex because, in addition to being a good action sequence, the scene also had to serve the comedy. Leitch explained…

I'm glad you see that. You know I think people don't understand how many specific setups. We're shooting one camera, there is probably I'm guessing like 60 setups in that whole sequence. And it's all based on the comedic timing of these beats. The camera's in a different spot to catch the moment. It's part of the sensibility of Bullet Train. It was a live-action anime. This moment tells this, this moment tells that... it was the right way to make the version we were trying to tell.

Action sequences usually require a lot of setups to get the action from many different angles, unless there’s a particular design to do more impressive one-shot sequences or otherwise long takes. But 60 setups is a lot considering the actual fight scene in Bullet Train is all of about a minute long. Still, the sequence is both beautifully choreographed as an action scene, and also quite funny, so the movie balances the two things quite well.

The scene sees Brad Pitt and Bryan Tyree Henry as two hired guns chasing the same goal. This leads to an altercation where the two try to kill each other in public view of others while trying to go unnoticed, especially since the pair are sitting in the “quiet car” of a high-speed train. Check it out.

David Leitch says he's always been a fan of comedy, but he credits his time on Deadpool 2 and working with Ryan Reynolds for helping him hone his abilities when it comes to doing action and comedy in equal measure. He says that experience will “never leave” him and he’s carrying it forward into his other projects. That certainly worked here.

Leitch’s newest film, The Fall Guy certainly follows in the footsteps of Deadpool 2 and Bullet Train as it never slows down when it comes to the action and then stunts, but it never sacrifices the comedy of the film either.