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Bullet Train Movie Vs. Book Comparison: Biggest Changes Explained

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Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Bullet Train.

Bullet Train movie vs. book comparison — here are the biggest changes from the novel. Directed by David Leitch from a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz, Bullet Train’s story is adapted to the big screen. A slick action thriller featuring plenty of comedic moments and a star-studded cast, Bullet Train is like any other film adaptation, changing certain aspects of the source material in its move to a different medium.

Bullet Train is based on Kōtarō Isaka’s incredibly successful novel. First published in 2010, the book was first translated to English in 2021 by Sam Malissa, and has gone on to receive mostly positive reviews from fans and critics alike. Film adaptations of novels must always walk a fine line. Too similar and the film risks being a too-loyal adaptation without its own personality and style; too different and the movie might put off book readers. While it’s difficult to find a balance, movie adaptations tend to make alterations to the source material when bringing it to the big screen.

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Such is the case with Bullet Train. While the action film — which stars Brad Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, among several others — stays true to many aspects of Isaka’s book, there are plenty of key story and character tweaks made specifically for the Hollywood adaptation of Bullet Train. Here is every major change made from book to movie, including the Prince’s identity and backstory.

Bullet Train’s Novel Is Called Maria Bītoru

Typically, film adaptations of novels maintain the same title as their source material. Bullet Train, on the other hand, is unique in that the movie’s title is actually lifted from the novel’s translation. Originally titled Maria Bītoru, which translates to Maria Beetle, Isaka’s novel was given a new name, Bullet Train, for the English-language version of the book. When Bullet Train was first translated to English, the title was likely changed to highlight the fact that the action of the story and the characters’ interactions all take place inside a bullet train. In the story, Maria is the name of Ladybug’s handler, who is portrayed by Sandra Bullock and tasks the assassin with retrieving the briefcase full of money.


White Death’s Character Is An Addition To Bullet Train

The character who brings everyone together in the end is the criminal leader White Death, who came up with a plan that would bring all of the assassins together on the bullet train in the hopes that they would all kill each other. This plot began as revenge for the assassins’ involvement — directly or otherwise — in the murder of the White Death’s wife. However, the White Death is not a character in Isaka’s novel. Rather, the central mob boss in the book is Yoshio Minegishi, who has a reputation for being ruthless. In Bullet Train, Minegishi is more of a minor character, who is betrayed and killed by the White Death in his rise to power. The White Death ultimately replaces Minegishi as the cold-blooded crime boss who is not to be crossed, striking fear in the hearts of nearly everyone on the train. White Death’s addition to Bullet Train completely changes the ending, which now sees Kimura’s father exact his own revenge on Michael Shannon’s character for killing his wife and Minegishi.


The Prince Is A Teenage Boy In The Bullet Train Novel

In the novel, the Prince is Satoshi Oji, a teenage boy who manipulates everyone around him. He’s lethal, cruel, and capable of outsmarting others to get what he wants because he poses as a schoolboy. In the movie, the Prince is a gender-swapped version of the original character, though Joey King’s iteration maintains the same deadly traits, though the book version of the character is far more of a sociopath. Naturally, the Prince being a teenage girl in Bullet Train changes the backstory of her character, who is angry with the White Death for favoring his son (played by Logan Lerman) over her despite the Prince being the more worthy choice as successor to her father’s criminal organization. The Prince plots her revenge on the White Death, which alters the character’s journey in important ways. The vengeance here is personal as the character’s book counterpart simply wants to have a chance to find and fight the mob boss just because. The Prince’s plot in the film is also rooted in sexism — specifically, the underestimation of a young woman who was overlooked by her father in favor of her brother. The change makes for an intriguing and somewhat more nuanced addition, especially considering the majority of the cast is comprised of men.


Ladybug Is A Young Assassin Who’s Not As Experienced

In Bullet Train, Ladybug is a seasoned assassin. He’s been on several jobs, but considers his luck to be some of the worst in the world. Ladybug has been around long enough to know that if he’s somehow involved in the case, something will go wrong, be it an accidental stabbing or death. He always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he’s hyper-aware of that because Ladybug has loads of experience in the field. In Isaka’s novel, however, Ladybug is younger in age (Brad Pitt is 58 years old) and, while the bullet train job isn’t his first, he’s less of a seasoned professional assassin. That said, the remainder of Ladybug’s personality traits remain intact, with the trained killer constantly bringing up his bad luck and opening up discussions on moral philosophy regarding murder and life. Ladybug proved himself a capable operative in the field, fighting the other assassins with finesse.


The Wolf Gets An Expanded Story In The Film

In the film, the Wolf heads all the way to Japan to find Ladybug, the assassin he believes had a hand in the death of his wife and the rest of the guests at his wedding. While Hornet is the one who killed the Wolf’s wife, he’s intent on seeking revenge on Ladybug as well because he also holds him responsible. In the novel, the Wolf has a smaller role. While he also prevents Ladybug from leaving the train at the stop he’s meant to get off, the book version of the Wolf only recognizes the assassin because Ladybug once fought him outside a bar.

The Bullet Train Book Characters Are Japanese

While the film includes a largely American cast, the source material is made up of Japanese characters in the primary roles, including Ladybug, whose real name is Nanao. To that end, Leitch’s film has been accused of whitewashing, the practice of casting white actors in previously non-white roles. The film itself is still set in Japan, but there is only one primary character who is of Japanese descent: Andrew Koji, who plays Kimura. The majority of the bullet train’s passengers, including Channing Tatum, who makes a cameo, are also white. David Innoue, the executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League, and others have criticized the film for not taking the opportunity to cast Japanese actors in the main roles.


The Bullet Train Has A Different Final Destination In The Book

In the movie, Ladybug boards the bullet train in Tokyo, with the final destination being Kyoto. However, Isaka’s novel sees the train traveling from Tokyo to Morioka. It’s unclear why this particular change was made, though perhaps Kyoto is more recognizable to general audiences. Interestingly, the change in Bullet Train means the characters in the action movie are traveling south versus north to Morioka like in the book.




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Futurama: 10 Things Redditors Want To See In The Reboot

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Futurama has had a tough life after being canceled and renewed several times over, but following 10 years off the air, it’ll return on Hulu with a 20-episode season, and the episode titles have already been revealed. The show will be released on the streaming platform in 2023, and if the titles are anything to go by, the show will be a complete return to form with another Christmas-themed episode and more Bender-centric episodes.


However, while fans are excited to see the outcome, they also have a lot of his expectations, and their demands range from fairly likely to out-of-this-world absurd. Between a couple of crossovers, lowkey fan-favorite characters, and its place in time, fans can dream.

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A Simpsons Crossover

Ackmondual wants to see the two Matt Groening creations share the screen together, even though they’re completely different entities. The Redditor notes, “There was a crossover episode, but for s**** and giggles, I want to see Futurama do a crossover episode with The Simpsons anyways! (the other way around!)”

As the Redditor points out, there has already been a Simpsons and Futurama crossover, which happened in “Simpsorama,” episode six of season 26 of The Simpsons. But that was well into the time when The Simpsons wasn’t operating on full cylinders, and the writing team didn’t take advantage of the crossover potential, making what should have been a huge event rather uneventful. But with Futurama back on the air, there’s a chance to right this wrong.

Bring Back The Original Writers

Bakoro wants to see the same writers hired for the new 20-episode season, noting, “Hopefully they can get some writers back, or at least people with a comparable level of education and writing experience.” Futurama was known for its prestigious writers who were way extremely well-educated.

The writers of the show were Havard graduates and had Ph.Ds, but that’s what led to such incredibly thought-provoking Futurama episodes such as “The Prisoner of Benda”, which was written by Ken Keeler who has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. According to the American Physics Society, Keeler even proved the theory in the episode before writing it. That’s a commitment that isn’t heard about all that often today. Keeler hasn’t written anything since the series finale, so the series return would make a perfect comeback.

A Quarantine Episode

Given that everyone has just lived through what will be talked about in history for centuries to come, Intellectualidiot thinks it’d be appropriate if there was a quarantine-based episode in the new season. The Redditor comments, “I wonder if they’ll be an episode where Lrrr accidentally infects Earth with an Omicronian virus and the planet has to quarantine.”

However, while that seems interesting, a similar Futurama episode where Fry brings the common cold to the 31st century, “Cold Warriors,” already exists. But it just might happen, as “Rage Against the Vaccine” is a confirmed episode title. Either way, it’s almost certain that Lrrr will return, as the alien was one of the best tertiary characters of the animated show.

Caolan114 thinks the show should be more meta and self-aware, pitching, “I hope the first Joke of the new Futurama Is Bender sounding weird then clearing his throat and sounding normal in reference to his voice actor situation.” The user is referring to the fact that John DiMaggio almost didn’t return due to negotiation issues, and though it’s impossible to know if the Redditor has a Ph.D., they’d be a great candidate for one of the new writers.

While it’s nigh-impossible to accurately guess what the very first joke of the season will be, there’s no doubt that the series will be more meta. If the studio has taken influence from more modern movies and shows, which are generally much more self-aware than they used to be, Futurama will surely follow suit. Though being more meta isn’t a bad thing, hopefully, the show will still stay true to itself if it does go down this route.

More Barbados Slim

Xboarder84 is excited to see Barbados Slim of all characters, claiming, “I knew we haven’t heard the last of Barbados Slim!” While the Redditor is clearly referring to the character’s line when he says, “You haven’t seen the last of Barbados Slim,” Slim is one of the most unlikely characters to be excited about returning.

Even characters who have only appeared in one episode have had more screentime in than Slim, who only features extraordinarily briefly each time. Slim was Hermes’ wife’s ex-boyfriend, and she quickly ran back to him whenever Hermes disappointed her. This schtick was basically his only storyline, so he likely isn’t high on the list of characters fans want to see back.

Acknowledge Rick And Morty’s Success

Fans of mature animated series are living their lives best right now, as there are so many great shows on the TV landscape, such as Archer, Bob’s Burgers, and many others. However, Rick and Morty is far more talked about, full of more imaginative concepts, and totally unrivaled. One Redditor thinks that the upcoming Futurama series can’t ignore Rick and Morty’s influence, noting, “They have to acknowledge the impact. I see that pushing them to be more ambitious with the sci-fi, and they’ll have to be very deliberate with the tone.”

Though Futurama was tackling just as deep concepts long before Rick and Morty was ever conceived, the dark animated show’s popularity could have influenced the decision to renew it. And though it’s unlikely given that they belong to different networks, a Rick and Morty crossover would be way more interesting than a Simpsons one.

Bring Back Scruffy

Mrsunsfan seemingly demands, “Scruffy better be back.” While it initially seems a little strange to hope for the return of the Planet Express janitor who had a non-speaking role for the longest time, Scruffy was a fan favorite from the very beginning.

Ironically, even though the later seasons are heavily criticized (except for a couple of episodes), that’s when Scruffy became more of a main character, but there’s certainly no connection between the show’s worsening quality and Scruffy’s prominence. Scruffy was easily one of the best things of the later seasons, and one of the few reasons why they’re rewatchable, so it’s an almost certainty that the janitor will be back.

Make Amy Three-Dimensional

FromABroomCloset thinks Amy should finally be developed into a three-dimensional character in the upcoming season. The Redditor posits, “Amy was underused. One of the early episodes, it’s mentioned that she is Farnsworth assistant, college such and such, they never make much use of that dynamic.”

Amy was one of the main members of the Planet Express crew, but she rarely led any episodes and her character certainly didn’t develop. The most screentime she had was when she had a fling with Fry, but that didn’t add any layers to who Amy was. The character has a fascinating background, and the next season should delve much further into that. It makes sense, as the Fry and Leela arc is all wrapped up.

Another Emotional Ending

Stonesword75 wants to see another emotional ending, as they half-jokingly note, “Oh boy. I can’t wait for another emotional, perfect ending when the show is ‘canceled for good this time.'” The user is referring to the fact that the show has been canceled and picked up by different networks several times at this point, but the final episode before it was canceled, “Meanwhile,” is one of the most perfect series finales ever made.

The Redditor also considers that the show could get canceled yet again, which is the last thing fans want to see happen. Hopefully, co-creator David X. Cohen gets to cancel it on his own terms this time.

Set It Before The Final Season

Though fans are dying to see more episodes of Futurama, a 20-episode season could ruin that perfect ending in “Meanwhile,” but that’s why Wordswontcomeout thinks it should be something of a prequel. The Redditor explains, “If they are going to do this I want the new seasons to be chronologically before the final season.”

It’s a smart way to get around that perfect ending, otherwise the upcoming series would ruin it similar to how Scrubs: Interns ruined the proper season finale. And given how animated shows are literally timeless when it comes to their periods, whether it’s The Simpsons or Rick and Morty, Hulu could make as many episodes as it wanted if it was set before the seventh season and nobody would raise an eyebrow.

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Reddit’s 10 Favorite Disney Live-Action Remakes

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With the recent release of Zemeckis’ Pinocchio, many Reddit users have been compelling to revisit and discuss some of their favorite Disney live-action remakes. In the past few years, Disney has made a habit of rebooting their most popular animated movies with a more modern twist, and many of them have actually been pleasant surprises.


In spite of many remakes that only end up being worse than the original, it doesn’t seem like Disney’s latest live-action trend is due to stop any time soon. Whilst many cynical fans may just see the movement as a way of extra money, others see it as a fun way of revisiting their childhoods and bringing them into a new age.

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Beauty And The Beast (2017)

Of all the actresses to play Belle in various Beauty and the Beast adaptations, it’s easily Emma Watson that does the best job in the role. She completely embodies the protagonist’s well-behaved mannerisms and childlike innocence that make her such a compelling character, which is one of the many reasons that Disney fans enjoyed this remake.

Reddit user majesticmongoose argues that Beauty and the Beast is a “wonderful movie”, which is certainly a word that could be used to describe the original film. The story is uniquely magical and uplifting in a way that few other films have managed to be, and the remake captures this spirit fairly effectively.

Mulan (2020)

Although it’s one of the least critically-acclaimed Disney remakes so far, there are still plenty of people who defend Mulan for its visual prowess and acting showcases. Liu Yifei is perfectly entertaining as the titular protagonist, particularly shining in the film’s exciting action sequences.

One Reddit user maintains that Mulan‘s remake was actually “really good,” arguing that it’s one of the most misunderstood films in the subcategory. The 2020 remake will probably work better for those that haven’t grown up with the original, as there are many changes made that will puzzle long-time fans.

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

The original Pete’s Dragon is actually one of Disney’s least famous and least-discussed animated movies, released a whole decade before the company’s so-called ‘Renaissance Era’ began in the early 1990s. The film, much like its modern remake, follows the adventures of a dragon named Elliot and his young human friend, Pete.

Reddit user mstkgf makes the claim that the Pete’s Dragon remake is “much better than the original,” not just in its visual style but also in the way that it tells its story. Whilst both films are aimed at younger audiences, the 2016 remake has a much more mature and engaging approach to storytelling that makes it stand out.

Dumbo (2019)

Dumbo is one of the most famous Disney characters of all, so it’s not really surprising that the film’s remake was so high on Disney’s priority list. Starring Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton in the lead roles, Dumbo tells the story of a magic elephant who escapes from his life at the circus.

One Redditor believes that Dumbo is one of the rare Disney remakes that “tried to shake things up a little bit and do something slightly different”, whereas many of the others just tend to be too similar to their source material. The film makes a few bold decisions that might deter fans of the original, but certainly make the film more memorable in the end. This includes fixing problematic scenes in response to the original having become controversial lately due to the racial stereotypes.

Alice In Wonderland (2010)

Although Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is less of a strict remake and more of a loose reimagining of Lewis Caroll’s original story, there are still several similarities between itself and the 1951 animated film. However, Burton’s remake is often hailed for its unrivaled creativity and bold narrative decisions.

Reddit user statusloquat8 argues that the best Disney remakes are those that “have new takes on the story,” and this film certainly fits these criteria. The remake showcases the beautiful landscape of Wonderland while also taking a new approach with a much older and mature Alice. Not only is it one of the most underrated Disney movies out there, but Alice in Wonderland is one of Tim Burton’s most underrated movies in general.

Aladdin (2019)

It’s impossible to completely recreate the upbeat spirit of the original Aladdin movie, but the 2019 remake does a surprisingly good job of bringing this story to life. In a way, it stays true to the source material whilst also making its own creative decisions that at least justify its existence.

Reddit user qwerty-1999 agrees, claiming that Aladdin is their “favorite” Disney remake because it “added some interesting things to the story” that wasn’t present in the original. One of the elevated stories is a far more in-depth character arc for Jasmine that allowed her to shine in more ways that the original didn’t, including her “Speechless” number. It wasn’t just another cut-and-paste Disney project, but rather a genuine story that still feels important.

Cruella (2021)

Although not a strict remake of 101 Dalmations, Craig Gillespie’s Cruella shares enough in common with the film to be considered a modern reboot of the story. The film’s main selling point is that it’s told from the perspective of Cruella de Vil, the much-disliked antagonist of the original.

Reddit user individual-cloud948 admits that they “personally liked” the film more than most, though Cruella was actually many people’s favorite comedy movie of 2021. It added a much-needed sense of humor to this familiar story, playing out in a way that very few people expected. Plus, unlike the original film, this reboot develops Cruella’s nuanced origin story that relates to her parentage while also showcasing where her love of fashion comes from.

Christopher Robin (2018)

Winnie the Pooh is one of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, and Christopher Robin is a fantastic celebration of the bear’s history and status in so many people’s childhoods. It’s an extremely emotional film, but it captures the spirit of Winnie the Pooh in a way that very few people actually expected from a live-action project.

“I cried like a baby,” admits Redditor idkmybbfdw, proving just how nostalgic and moving the story was for many Disney fans. It takes all the best aspects of A. A. Milne’s books and transforms them into something completely new, whilst simultaneously paying tribute to Pooh and the character’s history.

The Jungle Book (2016)

For many people, The Jungle Book was one of the best animated Disney movies ever made, so a remake understandably stirred some unrest among most fans. However, Jon Favreau’s reimagining of the classic story actually ended up being one of Disney’s best projects in years.

Unlike many of the lesser-appreciated remakes, The Jungle Book actually makes an effort to thrive as a self-sustained story, rather than simply relying on nostalgia and appreciation for the original. For this reason, plenty of Reddit users such as marko008d believe the remake to be even “better than the original.”

Cinderella (2015)

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella was one of the first Disney remakes to really begin this trend, and even after plenty of competition, it still remains one of the best. Lily James is unforgettable as the titular character, perfectly capturing the grace and innocence that’s necessary for such an iconic role.

Reddit user captain_deathlok2 claims that Cinderella is actually the “best” remake Disney has produced so far, suggesting that beginner’s luck is very much real when it comes to these things. The way that Branagh brings this world to life is something that’s missing from most other remakes, even the most commercially successful ones.

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Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan on Reuniting After 20 Years for ‘Vikram Vedha’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Top Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan are reuniting after 20 years for “Vikram Vedha.”

The film, directed by writer-directors Pushkar and Gayatri, tells the story of a tough police officer Vikram (Khan) who sets out to track down and kill an equally tough gangster Vedha (Roshan). What unfolds is a cat-and-mouse chase, where Vedha, a master storyteller, helps Vikram peel back layers through a series of stories, leading to moral ambiguities.

“It has been 20 years since I worked with Saif on a film. Coming together with him for ‘Vikram Vedha’ was the best thing that could happen to me as an actor,” Roshan told Variety. “He is a co-star who pushes me to deliver my best onscreen. His acting is so real and powerful that it uplifts the whole scene. If given an opportunity, I’d like to collaborate with him again.”

“Hrithik is super committed and one of the actors that I really have a lot of respect for. And I knew that I would be challenged, and I’d have to work hard in terms of the way I looked at my fitness and action to try and keep up,” Khan told Variety. “And it frightened me a little bit, which is always good.”

The pair last co-starred in “Na Tum Jaano Na Hum” (2002). Khan was coming off the massively influential “Dil Chahta Hai” (2001) and Roshan was white hot after his debut as a leading man “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai” (2000) and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…” (2001). Indeed, “Na Tum Jaano Na Hum” was named after one of the hit songs in “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai.”

“On ‘Na Tum Jaano Na Hum’ we were kids. And I didn’t really care,” says Khan. “I remember, Salman Khan came to the set. He said, ‘Why are you working with him? He’s going to kill you on screen, because he’s the hottest thing in Bollywood.’ And I said, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter.’ And it didn’t matter.”

“I was probably more conscious of crossing swords with him this time than I was then and I wanted to acquit myself well because I don’t think I’m going to be better at what I do than what I am today,” Khan added.

After playing scores of romantic roles, notably in “Kal Ho Naa Ho” (2003) and “Hum Tum” (2004), for which he won India’s National Award for best actor, Khan changed gear with the plum role of Ishwar/Langda Tyagi in Vishal Bhardwaj’s acclaimed “Othello” adaptation “Omkara” (2006). He gained international prominence in 2018 playing a world-weary cop in Netflix original series “Sacred Games,” which went on to earn an Emmy nomination.

Roshan has also had a phenomenally successful career with highlights including the Krrish franchise, “Jodhaa Akbar” (2008), “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (2011), “Agneepath” (2012), “Bang Bang!” (2014) and “War” (2019).

“My prep for Vedha’s character began with constructing his world. Understanding his story, his journey and his lifestyle,” said Roshan. “I started with first working towards his physical aesthetics, while prepping to talk and walk the way Vedha would as envisioned by Gayatri, Pushkar and myself. Once the structure of Vedha was ready, we delved deeper into his mind, his emotions and means of expression. It was a journey that involved a lot of learning and unlearning, but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to play the character of Vedha.”

The film is a remake of 2017 Tamil-language hit “Vikram Vedha,” also directed by Pushkar and Gayatri and starring R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi.

“It’s a very clever script, it’s all there on the page,” said Khan. “I saw the original – I saw it a couple of times. And I was very impressed by Madhavan’s performance, in the sense that when I came down to interpreting the role, there were very few things that I thought I would do differently, to be honest. I was like, this is pretty much the perfect way of playing it, except a few cultural things.”

Along with Mani Ratnam’s “Ponniyin Selvan: 1,” “Vikram Vedha” is the big Indian release on Sept. 30, with the latter getting one of the widest Bollywood releases of all time. After a somewhat rocky post-pandemic restart to the theatrical business in India, industry hopes are pinned on these two films.

“It’s cyclical, we go through great phases, and then everyone gets involved. Then we go through a bit of a drought and everyone’s singing doom of the industry and it’s all over,” said Khan. “But yeah, we need some nice hits so that people can start investing money more confidently, again. I’m sorry to say, I don’t think very good films have not run, and we just need to make better movies.”

Roshan added: “I hope the audience watches ‘Vikram Vedha’ and enjoys it as much as we did making it. Fingers crossed.”

“Vikram Vedha” is produced by T-Series and Reliance Entertainment in association with Friday Filmworks, Jio Studios and YNOT Studios. Producers include Bhushan Kumar, S. Sashikanth and Bhushan Kumar.



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