Brad Pitt's Got Space Daddy Issues in the First Ad Astra Trailer

“Where are you, Space Daddy?”
Image: 20th Century Fox (YouTube)
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It’s the end of the world as we know it, but Brad Pitt’s a little preoccupied. He has to go to space and have a little Heart of Darkness moment with dear old dad, and prevent the apocalypse while he’s at it.

The first trailer is here for Ad Astra, the new sci-fi film from James Gray (The Lost City of Z). It follows astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt), who’s sent to travel to the edges of the solar system in search of his father, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Roy’s dear daddy disappeared a few decades ago while experimenting on a dangerous material that could destroy the world. And now that the world is falling apart in something called The Surge, it’s time to find some answers.

Ad Astra, which has been in the works since 2017, has been touted as Gray’s attempt at “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie,” following on the heels of other similarly ambitious projects like Gravity and Interstellar. I’ve been psyched about this movie for a while, even given my troubled feelings about using Heart of Darkness as inspiration. But by the end of the trailer, I found myself still waiting for that “wow” factor I’d been anticipating. It looked...all right, I guess.

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And I’m just going to throw this out there: If it doesn’t come out that Liv Tyler is playing a secret alien or something—which I think is possible, given how her character is not named on IMDB—I’m going to be Hercules levels of disappointed. Tyler deserves more than to be stuck reprising her “woman waits for man to return from space” role. On that note, make Donald Sutherland and Ruth Negga secret aliens too. Hell, make them all secret aliens. I’m game.

Ad Astra was previously set to come out on Memorial Day weekend, but has faced a series of delays. It was recently rumored to have been removed from the schedule entirely, following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Now it’s back on the docket, and set to come out September 20.


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About the author

Beth Elderkin

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.