Like Bullet Train, these films and series take place on a train – Actus Ciné

Like bullet train, these films and series take place on a train - actus ciné

On the occasion of the release of “Bullet Train”, focus on these films and series whose action takes place in a train, from “Last train to Busan” to “Snowpiercer” via “The Passenger”, “A aboard the Darjeeling Limited” and “The Pole Express”.

On the occasion of the release of the feature film Bullet Traincurrently in theaters, we offer you a focus on these films and series whose action takes place in a train, Last train to Busan at Snowpiercer Passing by The Passenger, On board the Darjeeling Limited or The Polar Express. Are we boarding?


In Bullet Train, brad pitt plays a down-on-his-luck assassin who is uniquely determined to accomplish his new mission peacefully after too many of them have gone off the rails. But fate has decided otherwise and takes him on the fastest train in the world alongside formidable opponents who all have one thing in common, but whose interests diverge radically… He must then try by all means to get off the plane.

For the film, the production designer David Scheunemann arranged for the two full-size train cars to be interchangeable, so that each was re-adaptable and refitted into various wagons, much like the family car in the colors of the mascot Momomon.

The family car required extensive custom fittings, such as an adhesive-backed fuchsia pink interior and exterior liner that immerses the viewer in an anime-like explosion of color.

Stage 26 at Sony Studios housed the two sets of wagons, as well as the set of a station. This has been refurbished five times by the Scheunemann team, for five different stations.


The feature film Last train to Busan immerses us in South Korea, as an unknown virus spreads in the country and a state of emergency is declared. The passengers of the KTX train engage in a merciless struggle in order to survive until Busan, the only city where they will be safe… Regarding the staging of this zombie film presented at the Midnight Screening in Cannes, director Sang-Ho Yeon declares: The train offers a closed and repetitive space. All cars and compartments look alike. There are a lot of action scenes in the film, but I didn’t want to cut them out too much, to make it easier for viewers to find their way around. I limited the number of shots so that we could follow the movements of the characters, so that the action remained readable. There are fewer shots in my film than in a typical action film.”


Three brothers who haven’t spoken to each other since their father’s death decide to take a long train trip across India together to reconnect with old ties. A “spiritual quest” that will quickly go off the rails… This is the pitch of the dramatic comedy On board the Darjeeling Limitedled by Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman. For this funny and melancholy feature film, the director Wes Anderson wanted above all to shoot in a real train, a machine which, in this case, moved between the city of Jodhpur and that of Jaisalmer. “We went to an area of ​​India operated by Northwestern Railways and told them we needed ten railcars and a locomotive that we were going to completely redecorate and run on their rail network.”remembers the production designer Mark Frideberg. “It was the first time they had been asked for such a thing. The procedures were long and tedious, but we ended up getting what we wanted.”


Like every day after work, Michael MacCauley takes the commuter train that takes him home. But his daily commute takes a completely different turn when, after receiving a call from a mysterious stranger, he is forced to identify, before the last stop, a hidden passenger on the train. Fourth collaboration between the director Jaume Collet-Serra and the actor Liam Neesonthe thriller The Passenger represented a double challenge: to make such a story fascinating with a setting that never changes and to adapt the staging to this constraint. “A train can be relatively boring to film. Fortunately, the Hudson North has an interesting aesthetic”explains the filmmaker. “It’s old, it makes a lot of noise and it still has that punch ticket system that I find fascinating. Also, this line has many and varied lights. You go from the platforms and tunnels of Grand Central to the Bronx and then to the Hudson River before leaving the city. Visually, you could take great advantage of it.”

RUN (2020)

Series Run, is the story of two former lovers who, 15 years ago, made a pact. A pact where they pledged to disappear together if ever one of them, needing to escape from his life, had sent this simple and unique text message saying: “RUN”. In this show signed Phoebe Waller Bridge (flea bag), which mixes thriller and romance, many scenes take place inside a train. In the casting, we find Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars). He remembers: “Logistically, shooting the scenes on the train was a nightmare because the car rocked a lot. We were shown the landscapes on screens and with the changes of perspective, it was impossible not to feel sick!


Colter Stevens wakes up with a start on a train bound for Chicago. Amnesic, he has no memory of being in it. When suddenly, a bomb explodes… When he wakes up, he discovers that he is participating in an experimental process allowing him to project himself into a person’s body and relive the last eight minutes of his life. His mission: to constantly relive the few minutes preceding the explosion in order to identify and arrest the perpetrators of the attack. Such is the story of thriller SF SourceCoderealized by Duncan Jones (the son of david bowie) and led by Jake Gyllenhaal. A film for which the same sequence of the train had to be shot in several different ways, each time with the addition of a new script element.


The luxury and calm of a trip on the Orient Express is suddenly upset by a murder. The 13 passengers are all suspects and the famous detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a race against time to identify the assassin, before he strikes again. The cult novelAgatha Christie has been adapted many times for the screen, the last version dating from 2017 with Kenneth Branagh to the production and an XXL casting bringing together Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Daisy Ridley. For this film, two trains were designed: one for the interior and exterior scenes, composed of all the wagons and the locomotive and able to move on the tracks, the second for the interior scenes only, with removable walls to facilitate shooting.


A young boy who begins to doubt the existence of Santa Claus boards a mysterious train bound for the North Pole. As the Express Pole sinks into enchanted lands, adventure awaits and the young passengers become aware of the extent of their gifts. Realized by Robert Zemeckisthis film benefits from the so-called “Performance Capture” technique, a process that makes it possible to recreate to perfection, in computer graphics, the expressions and gestures of the actors, including Tom Hanks.


On the train taking her home from the Balkans, Iris befriends an old lady, Miss Froy. However, this one disappears during Iris’ sleep: in her place is another lady wearing the same clothes. None of the passengers on the train remember Miss Froy. Assisted by a young musician, Gilbert, Iris leads the investigation. Quickly board the detective film A woman disappearsmade by a certain Alfred Hitchock during his English period.


Runaway Train, it’s the story of Manny and Buck, who manage to escape from prison. Their escape is very complicated and dangerous because they are in the middle of Alaska, a region with freezing climatic conditions. However, they reach a station and board a train. Unfortunately for them, the driver has a heart attack and the brakes of the convoy no longer respond! The speed keeps increasing and no one seems able to bring it down… The train scenes in this feature film written by Akira Kurosawa were filmed in Alaska. Note that Runaway Train was presented at Cannes in 1986 and allowed actors Jon Voight and Eric Roberts to be nominated for an Oscar.

SNOWPIERCER (2013 and 2020)

In Bong Joon-ho’s feature film and the Netflix seriesadapted from the comic The Transperceneige, the viewer is immersed in the near future, as the Earth experiences a new ice age. The last survivors boarded the Snowpiercer, a gigantic train condemned to circle the Earth without ever stopping. Bong Joon-ho said when the film was released: “When I opened the comic, I discovered that it was the story of a train. However, I am literally obsessed with trains (…) It is a confined space, a a place that represents a challenge in terms of staging. (…) Le Transperceneige seemed to me like a work that was intended for me. A gesture of fate, a film born of chance.”

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