In the past years science fiction has become far more prestigious as seminal directors like Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron use the genre to explore humanity and ask us challenging questions. It’s actually something that science fiction has always done well but got little credit for as it wasn’t seen as mainstream, but studios are now pushing forward more and more genre movies that they see as high-end films. James Gray’s Ad Astra is one of these, with the a stellar cast anchoring a movie that feels more psychological than space adventure if this first trailer is to be believed.
The film follows astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), who is tasked with finding his father, a scientist who traveled to into space and never came back. There’s some undercover government secrecy going on as well, and the moon buggy car chase sequence gives me a little pause, but overall this seems like a really challenging and tense movie. Gray’s previous film, The Lost City of Z, had an old school adventure feel to it that’s not seen often in modern cinema and it’ll be interesting to see what he brings to the science fiction genre. The director is usually far more slow-paced and methodical than this trailer hints at so we may see a final film that’s totally different in tone.
Ad Astra will release on September 20, 2019.