Brad Pitt’s sci-fi film Ad Astra has landed an early 2019 release date. The Lost City of Z’s James Gray is directing, and he's aiming to produce “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie”, conveying the concept that “space is awfully hostile to us” with “kind of a Heart of Darkness story about travelling to the outer edge of our solar system.”
Pitt will star as Roy McBride, an astronaut on a mission to Neptune. His character’s father went missing on a similar trip, years prior, providing an emotional hook to the film. Tommy Lee Jones has joined the production, as Clifford McBride, the aforementioned absent dad. Preacher’s Ruth Negga has signed up, too, although it’s unclear if hers in an Earth-bound or astronaut role. Donald Sutherland, Jamie Kennedy and John Finn round out the core cast. Filming began in July and, if you were wondering, the title Ad Astra comes from Latin, translating as “to the stars.”
And now comes the Ad Astra release date news. Deadline is reporting that the film - which hales from 20th Century Fox, New Regency and Bona Film Group - is slated for a wide theatrical release starting January 11, 2019. This is slightly surprising, considering that a Pitt-starring sci-fi epic might once have been considered a sure thing for a summer release. Times are changing, though, and Hollywood is constantly trying to find new profitable points in the calendar.
Currently, Ad Astra is the only film with this release date. M Night Shyamalan’s Glass, touted as a “very different” superhero movie, will follow a week later on January 18. DC Entertainment’s Aquaman (December 21, 2018) and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns (December 25, 2018) will precede Ad Astra’s arrival in theaters. This seems like a safe slot, then, positioning Gray’s film far and away from other sci-fi spectacles.
However, the quality of this release date could seriously diminish if Disney/Lucasfilm opt to push Han Solo back to December 2018. Star Wars has become synonymous with a yuletide release in recent years, but Han Solo is currently slated for May 2018. Some have argued that pushing Han Solo to December would make sense, given that Ron Howard stepped in late, during a troubled production, to take the reins from the film’s original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
As it stands, though, Han Solo remains in May 2018 and Ad Astra looks safe in its January 2019 slot. If anything budges and this scheduling has to change, you can be sure of finding all the latest updates right here on Screen Rant.
- Ad Astra (2019) release date: May 24, 2019