Look! Up in the sky! Isn't that Brad Pitt? What the ---
Yup, that's the approach taken with the first trailer for James Gray's Ad Astra, and I'd say it's pretty smart. Pitt is a very recognizable name, and so the idea of Our Man in Space makes the movie instantly intriguing.
Of course, anyone who knows the work of James Gray will understand the approach. Gray is a master filmmaker who has demonstrated his craft and instinct on distinctive, memorable movies that don't exactly scream out 'popcorn fare' (i.e., The Lost City of Z, The Immigrant, on and on). I fully expect Gray's directorial voice to be heard quite strongly in Ad Astra, so bravo to Fox (and Disney?) for moving this film into possible awards contention by setting the release for September 20. I can't wait.
Here's the official synopsis:
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland also star. Watch the trailer below, mark your calendars, and so forth