Several months ago, when it became apparent that the World War Z sequel was being delayed, it was reported that Brad Pitt was circling the lead role in James Gray’s sci-fi movie AD ASTRA Well consider it official, as Gray confirmed that New Regency will start production in July while doing press for The Lost City of Z, which was executive produced by Pitt.
While Gray has been vague regarding plot details for Ad Astra, which means “to the stars” in Latin, it is known that Pitt will play Roy McBride, an Army Corps engineer who embarks on a mission across the galaxy to discover the truth about his father, who disappeared in space 20 years earlier while searching for signs of alien life. But there’s more to it than that.
See, while Roy’s father was once presumed dead, there’s evidence to believe he might still be alive and that not only is he hiding within an abandoned power plant on a distant planet, but he could pose a dangerous threat to the entire universe.
When the man in charge of Roy’s mission dies under mysterious circumstances, he slips Roy a secret file and warns him not to trust anyone. That seems to include First Lieutenant Donald Scobee, a tough mission specialist whose team turns against Ray after their survival is threatened.
There’s also a mysterious woman named Francesca Descantis who turns out to have something in common with Ray, giving her a personal stake in the mission as well.
“What I’m trying to do is the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie… I have a lot of hopes for it, but it is certainly ambitious, said Gray, who added with a laugh that he’s “filled with terror, but that’s fine.”
Gray has been courting Pitt to star in one of his films for years. Pitt was originally set to star in The Lost City of Z before ceding the starring role to Charlie Hunnam, and Pitt nearly starred in Gray’s spy thriller The Gray Man before that script’s lead character was gender-flipped and the project was re-developed with Charlize Theron in mind.
Pitt recently starred in Robert Zemeckis’ Allied and will soon be seen in David Michod’s Netflix movie War Machine. He’s also a producer on the Steve Carell drama Beautiful Boy and Mike White’s Ben Stiller comedy Brad’s Status, as well as an executive producer on Bong Joon-ho’s creature feature Okja, which debuts June 28 on Netflix. He’s represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, while Gray is also repped by CAA.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief