The trailer for James Gray's Ad Astra has arrived online. Directed by Gray from a script he cowrote with Ethan Gross (Fringe), the film follows an astronaut (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones). The movie was shot back in mid-late 2017 and was initially scheduled to arrive near the start of this year. However, it was later pushed back to May and then again to September, in the wake of Disney's purchase of Fox's movie and TV assets.
Gray was reportedly still editing the film and fine-tuning its visual effects at the beginning of May, which explains why Ad Astra's release date keeps being delayed. The movie has long been regarded as a potential awards contender and is now said to be targeting a premiere at this fall's film festivals, as a way of kicking off its Oscar run. As such, Disney and Fox are getting its marketing campaign fully up and running this week, having only released a single image of Pitt's character up to this point.
Fox dropped the first Ad Astra trailer online this morning, ahead of its premiere in theaters this weekend. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the newly-unveiled poster.
The trailer provides some welcome insight into Ad Astra's story, but avoids spoiling too much of the plot along the way. As seen here, the film is set in motion when an event referred to as The Surge nearly gets Pitt's character, Roy McBride, killed during an otherwise routine mission in space. Roy is subsequently informed that the incident may be connected to his father, who was experimenting with a "highly classified material" at the outskirts of the solar system, when he vanished. Gray has compared the movie's narrative to Heart of Darkness and the trailer leaves a similar impression, as it shows Roy and his crew facing a series of obstacles as they journey through space to find his father and, hopefully, prevent him (?) and whatever he was working on from doing more harm. It's just too bad Liv Tyler is stuck playing the "wife who waits at home" role here.
Based on this footage, Ad Astra's visuals will be worth the extra time it took to finish them, and should be something to behold on the big screen. The trailer tries to sell the film as being a thriller of sorts, but odds are the movie will hew closer to a thoughtful, slow-burn adventure in the vein of Gray's The Lost City of Z adaptation. Ad Astra may have limited appeal in that respect, but should benefit from being released in late September, when audiences are generally more inclined to check out contemplative adult dramas. All in all, this continues to look like one to keep an eye out for over the upcoming months.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- Ad Astra (2019) release date: Sep 20, 2019