Ad Astra is a 2019 American science fiction action-adventure film produced, co-written and directed by James Gray.
Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System.
- The title means “to the stars” in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through the hardships to the Stars). A motto of NASA
- Director James Gray has said it will feature “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie.” He’s also described it as “Sorta like, if you got ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘2001’ in a giant mash-up and you put a little [Joseph] Conrad in there.”
- It was scheduled for release on May 24, 2019, but the premiere showing at the Cannes film fest was cancelled and there are rumours that the opening may be delayed due to the Fox-Disney merger.
- The first collaboration between Brad Pitt and James Gray. They planned to work together on The Lost City of Z (2016), but Pitt dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. He remained on board as an executive producer.
- The film reunites Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones and Loren Dean who previously appeared in Space Cowboys (2000).
- While shooting the climactic scene, Brad Pitt ended up crying unprompted in character. But as the scene takes place in zero-g, Pitt told director James Gray that the tear should be edited in post to bubble off his face, rather than run-down his cheek. “You gotta replace my tear, that’s not how it works in zero-gravity,” Pitt reportedly said, to which Gray responded, “I’m sorry, I’m keeping it. The acting’s too good, buddy.”