Why A Seated Fight Scene In Brad Pitt’s $239M Action Movie Was A Major Challenge

Director David Leitch has opened up about how big of a challenge it was to choreograph a seated fight scene in the Brad Pitt-led action movie Bullet Train. The 2022 film stars Pitt as Ladybug, delivering a suitcase via a bullet train in Japan on a mission that spans plenty of wild, action-packed moments. One of the most memorable moments in the film is a fight between Ladybug and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) while both of them are sitting down, their comedic battle silent the whole time.

While on Corridor Crew’s Stuntmen React series, Leitch explained how much effort went into how the highly-praised Bullet Train took a lot of time to perfect its action scenes, especially the sitting fight between Ladybug and Lemon.

At 14:50, the director explained how there were close to 60 different camera setups to make that fight happen, revealing how even the smallest moment of the movie required lots of effort to bring to life. Check out what Leitch had to say about filming this part of the movie below:

I think people don’t understand how many specific setups we shoot in one camera. There is probably, I’m guessing, there’s probably 60 setups in that whole sequence. And it’s all based on the comedic timing of these beats, right? 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, this moment tells this. It’s one way to make a movie, and it was the right way to make the version we were trying to tell.

Bullet Train’s Unique Fight Scenes Make It A Standout Action Comedy

Creative Fight Sequences Make The Movie Stand Out

Bullet train the wolf brad pitt

The effort Leitch says went into making just the sit-down fight scene in the action comedy isn’t surprising, as the movie features a plethora of impressive action sequences between its major characters. Most of these involve hand-to-hand combat, often involving anything from knives to a variety of creative weapons aboard the train. This culminates in a major action sequence at the end of Bullet Train, which includes everything from guns being fired to swords being slashed.

As Leitch states, though, the action also serves the purpose of being comedic, using slapstick and anime-inspired fight choreography to make them both tense and enjoyable at the same time. This visual combination meshes with the movie’s consistent comedy, making the fights between the variety of creative characters all the more memorable. This is assisted by the setting, as the bullet train speeding across Japan acts as a visual metaphor for the fast-paced action throughout. These additional elements help the movie stand out and make the effort that went into making it more noticeable.

It also seems Leitch leaned into Bullet Train’s style of action comedy in the critically acclaimed The Fall Guy, which also has many complex action sequences. These only serve to make the movie better, showing off the director’s visual style and willingness to go the extra mile for a perfect scene. Without scenes like the fight between Ladybug and Lemon, his movies may not have been as memorable. However, it’s clear from his 2022 action film just how much to expect from future movies he directs.

How Bullet Train Can Influence Other Action Movies

Bullet Train’s Unique Style Is Perfect For Action-Packed Storytelling

Bullet train ladybug codename sandra bullockSince the action comedy was only released in 2022, its detailed choreography and heavy use of fast-paced, visual storytelling hasn’t had time yet to be a major influence on other action movies. While there are plenty of movies like Bullet Train that have a mix of high-octane action and humor, such as Kill Bill or Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Leitch’s unique style isn’t replicated by these films. The way he weaves the action and story of the movie together keeps the momentum going, with scenes like Ladybug and Lemon’s battle contributing uniquely.

While Leitch’s The Fall Guy pulls inspiration from his previous movie with its approach to comedic action, it doesn’t seem many other action creatives have embraced a similar feel to their movies just yet. While doing so keeps every director’s vision of their action movies fresh, it also negates some experimentation of other directors trying to emulate Bullet Train. While it helps the movie stand on its own, it also makes it seem like there won’t be another movie like it in the near future.

Will There Ever Be A Bullet Train 2?

Bullet Train’s Novel Has A Corresponding SeriesFight scene in Bullet Train

Because of the success of the first movie, Bullet Train 2 is possible and would make for an equally fun action comedy. While the story may not take place in Japan nor on a bullet train, it could still include a handful of returning characters coupled with newcomers that are just as memorable. Since the original movie is adapted from a novel in Kōtarō Isaka’s Hitman series, its story could pull from a different book in the series. This could give Leitch the opportunity to continue showing off his directorial skills in the same fictional setting.

For now, though, it seems Bullet Train will maintain its status as a unique action film, with Leitch pulling inspiration from his work on it for his future projects. Ladybug and Lemon’s silent fight is a perfect representation of this vision, teasing what to expect as the director continues to develop even more action-focused stories moving forward. With a clear dedication to making his films stand out from other action comedies, whatever he plans to direct next will surely stand out just as much as his Pitt-led action movie does.

 

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