Zak Olkewicz wrote the script, based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. In the novel, five assassins find themselves on a fast-moving bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with only a few stops in between. They discover their missions are not unrelated to one another. The question becomes, who will make it off the train alive and what awaits them at the terminal station?
Pitt is coming off an Oscar-winning performance in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The actor is firming up his dance card, eyeing several projects but committing only to this one for now. A start date for later this year is eyed.
Antoine Fuqua developed the project originally with Fuqua Films’ Kat Samick, and they are producing along with Leitch and Kelly McCormick (Atomic Blonde) through their company 87North. Ryosuke Saegusa and Yuma Terada of CTB Inc are exec producers and rep Isaka and the IP. Leitch is overseeing a rewrite by Olkewicz to get the film ready to shoot.
Brittany Morrissey is the executive overseeing the project for Sony Pictures. Pitt is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Harvill Secker will publish the novel Bullet Train in English next year.