Star-Studded Assassin Movie 'Bullet Train' Adds Michael Shannon to the Ensemble

Sony’s Bullet Train cast continues to lure in some interesting performers, and it’s just snagged the most fascinating one yet: Michael Shannon, who specializes in playing taciturn cinematic weirdos, is now officially on board.

David Leitch (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) is directing the new action film, which is based on a graphic novel about multiple assassins boarding the same train and conflicts arising at high speed. 

Deadline reports that Shannon (Knives Out, Man of Steel, Take Shelter) is the latest actor to join the supporting cast of Bullet Train, which is going to be Brad Pitt‘s first starring vehicle since winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the outlet did not provide any details about who Shannon is going to be playing in this assassin thriller, so we’re left to speculate whether he’ll be taking on the role of a gruff assassin, a gruff passenger, or maybe even a gruff train conductor. Fingers crossed for the latter, if for no other reason that the possibility that he can bash someone over the head with a wooden plank during a big fight scene and then drop a conductor-specific one-liner like “All a-BOARD!” (Hey, a man can dream.)

The movie is based on Kotaro Isaka’s Japanese book Maria Beetle, which centers on multiple assassins with conflicting motivations boarding the same bullet train in Tokyo. Deadline points out that the movie’s plot details are vague, but it’s unclear if that’s just because English translations of the graphic novel are difficult to come by, or if Leitch, a former stuntman and the director of Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde, is taking some liberties with the story.

Pitt is reportedly playing an American hitman nicknamed “Ladybug.” Joey King, star of the Netflix romantic comedy franchise The Kissing Booth, will be playing “an unassuming teenaged assassin named Prince.” Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick-Ass, Nocturnal Animals) is supposedly playing an assassin named Tangerine, and might also be playing Tangerine’s twin brother. Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) will be having a little Atlanta reunion on this set, and Andrew Koji, the star of Cinemax’s Warrior, will be a part of the action, too.

Zak Olkewicz, who wrote the upcoming movie adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street, is writing the screenplay, which Leitch will oversee. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven remake) is serving as one of the producers.

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