SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains light spoilers for Bullet Train. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
Part of the fun in David Leitch’s Bullet Train is the deployment of the tremendous ensemble cast. From scene-to-scene you’re never quite sure who is going to pop up next – and while appearances from a number of big names were spoiled by casting announcements and the movie’s marketing, the film still has a number of surprises. Of these hidden gems, the best is easily the hilarious role played by Channing Tatum… and it may very well be a part of a chain of cascading cameos that continue for years to come.
Interviewing Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson last week during the virtual press day for Bullet Train, I asked how it was that Channing Tatum ended up being a unrevealed addition to the movie. Pitt explained that it’s a part of an idea he has been enjoying as of late that sees various big name stars randomly pop up in each other’s films. Said the actor,
I like this idea of... you know, like I showed up in Deadpool 2 for a second, Sandy [Bullock] showed up in this for us, I showed up in Sandy's and Channing's, and then Channing... I just like this idea of cross pollinating each other's projects.
For those who don’t understand the reference, Bullet Train isn’t the first time that Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum have shared the screen together in 2022. Earlier this year, the two actors joined forces alongside Sandra Bullock in The Lost City, with Bullock and Tatum playing the lead roles in the film and Pitt showing up in an unexpected supporting part. And, of course, Bullock also has her own small role to play in the new action movie.
In Bullet Train, Channing Tatum plays an unnamed passenger whom Brad Pitt’s Ladybug approaches while the two men are riding on the titular high-speed rail. Ladybug offers the random guy $200 to unknowingly be a distraction while the unlucky assassin is being hunted by Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) – but the dude is less concerned with any danger than he is about the potential for it all to be part of a “sex thing.”
The cameo magic doesn’t stop there, and neither does the cameo chain. In our interview, Brad Pitt mentioned his cameo as the invisible hero The Vanisher in Deadpool 2, which is linked to Bullet Train because that film was also directed by his former stuntman, David Leitch. There is, however, a secondary link, which is the surprise appearance of Ryan Reynolds – who briefly shows up toward the end of the film and is revealed as the assassin who was supposed to be on the train instead of Ladybug.
So what’s next for Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, and Ryan Reynolds in this cameo game? And who will be the next actor to join in on the fun? We have no idea, but we are certainly excited to find out.
Bullet Train features a stellar cast that goes far beyond just the names mentioned in this article, and after arriving in theaters last Friday it is the number one movie in the United States. To see what other films are scheduled to hit theaters and streaming services in what remains of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.