Even during a pandemic, action filmmaker David Leitch, like the characters in his films, isn't slowing down. In fact, the director is about to speed up faster than he probably ever has. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Leitch has been tapped to direct the film Bullet Train for Sony Pictures. The film is described as being similar to the Keanu Reeves action film Speed and the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop, following "a group of hitmen and assassins with conflicting motives on a train in Tokyo." Zak Olkewicz has penned the script with Leitch now working with him on re-writes for the film.
The trade reports that the film is targeting to begin production this fall and that due to the nature of the film's script can all be shot on contained sets and easily comply with health and safety standards in the state of California. Leitch will produce the film through his 87North production banner alongside producing partner Kelly McCormick. Kat Samick and Antoine Fuqua, who had previously been attached to direct the film, will also produce.
Leitch got his start in Hollywood working as a stuntman and worked his way up to being a second-unit director on films before exploding onto the scene in 2014 with John Wick, which he co-directed with Chad Stahelski. Since then Leitch has become attached to a number of franchise films and franchise starters, directing the Charlize Theron action-thriller Atomic Blonde, the Ryan Reynolds led sequel Deadpool 2, and the Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
In the years since helming those movies talk has been continuous about even more entries for each franchise, which could see Leitch return behind the camera once again. He's also attached to even more projects including an adaptation of the horror comic Undying Love, a remake of the David Carradine starring TV series Kung Fu, and an adaptation of the video game franchise The Division. Based on the Ubisoft titles, the movie will star Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal and has been acquired by Netflix ahead of the start of production.
For the time being you can add Bullet Train to this ever-growing list of projects that Leitch is attached to. All that in mind, and the ever evolving changes in the COVID-19 response across the country it's unclear when the film will finally get ahead of cameras beyond his already packed schedule.