Tommy Lee Jones is going back to the science fiction genre. Image: Sony

A young man’s father heads off into space to look for intelligent life. He never returns. Decades later, that young man decides to journey across the galaxy in search of his father. That’s rumored to be the plot of a new scifi film called Ad Astra, and writer-director James Gray just landed his second star.

Deadline reports that Tommy Lee Jones will play the father in the film opposite Brad Pitt as his son, who was already attached to the project.

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“What I’m trying to do is the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie,” Gray told Collider earlier this year. “To basically say, ‘Space is awfully hostile to us.’ It’s kind of a Heart of Darkness story about traveling to the outer edge of our solar system. I have a lot of hopes for it but it is certainly ambitious.”

So though the film is set in space, describing it as like Heart of Darkness (which was the primary inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now) makes it seem like a less spectacle, and more like a psychologically driven film. A film about, what Ren and Stimpy might call, “Space Madness.” Or one can hope.

Production on Ad Astra begins in September.

[Deadline]