David Leitch has a long past with Brad Pitt that began when he served as the star’s stunt double in David Fincher’s film.
David Leitch is becoming a mandatory reference in current action cinema and, with its most recent premiere, it seems to consolidate its position. It’s easy to understand when we discover that, when we ask him for his references in terms of actors and filmmakers, he doesn’t hesitate to point out how ‘Fight Club’ inspired him to get to ‘Bullet Train’.
“I had a great experience the first time I worked with him on ‘Fight Club,'” Leitch says of meeting the performer in one of Brad Pitt’s top 20 movies. “We had to Brad, who is a great charismatic actor, very disciplined and has an incredible preparation ethic, and David Fincher, who is one of my mentors as a director.. At that time it was incredible to see how he worked with the actors and was so disciplined with the vision of him while he did something as subversive as it was commercial, it blew my mind, it was what turned on the lightbulb.
At that time, Leitch had carved out a niche for himself in the industry working as a stuntman on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and various television series, but he was becoming Pitt’s stunt double in ‘Fight Club’ (David Fincher, 1999) which allowed him to take a new step in his career.
“I had just left the world of television as a stunt double and it was my first time in a big Hollywood movie as a stuntman,” he stresses. “I saw how the machinery worked and I did it in a very beautiful way. I have come a long way to be direct after that but it was a very important moment in my career.”
After that meeting, Leitch was hit again by Pitt in ‘Spy game’ (Tony Scott, 2001), ‘Ocean’s Eleven (Make game)’ (Steven Soderbergh, 2001), ‘Troy’ (Wolfgang Petersen, 2004) and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ (Doug Liman, 2005).
In 2014, he made his behind-the-scenes debut directing the spectacular ‘John Wick (Another Day to Kill)’ together with Chad Stahelski.after which came new dizzying experiences with ‘Atomica (Atomic Blonde)’ (2017) (one of the 40 best action movies on Amazon Prime Video), ‘Deadpool 2’ (2018) (which includes some of the best fights in the superhero movies) and ‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’ (2019).
“Awesome fun about murder (and bad luck),” underscores our ‘Bullet Train’ review, his reunion with Pitt in a fast-paced story about a train full of hit men not wanting to get off at the next station. “It smiles at its convoluted series of connections that lead to a final tie-up with katana blows, daggers, sleeping pills, MacGuffin briefcases, hitmen with job doubts and other lethal objects.”