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Brad Pitt & Tommy Lee Jones Team for Sci-Fi Drama Ad Astra

By Brian Gallagher — June 24th, 2017

His long-gestating sequel World War Z finally back on the right track with David Fincher now confirmed to direct, Brad Pitt has also lined up another project that will shoot first. Brad Pitt has signed on to star alongside Tommy Lee Jones in a new sci-fi thriller called Ad Astra, which is Latin for "to the stars." Production is already slated to begin this coming September, with director James Grey at the helm. The filmmaker is comig off his recent film The Lost City of Z, which debuted in theaters this spring.

Deadline reports that Brad Pitt will portray Roy McBride, a "slightly autistic" space engineer, whose father disappeared 20 years ago after embarking on a one-way mission to Neptune, to find signs of intelligent life. Roy sets off on a mission of his own into outer space to find out why his father's mission failed. Tommmy Lee Jones will play the father, with the site revealing that the film has a "Heart of Darkness vibe," the Joseph Conrad novel that inspired Apocalypse Now. Brad Pitt actually signed on to this project in February, when it became clear that World War Z 2 was taking longer than expected to get off the ground.

Brad Pitt was actually attached to star in two different James Gray projects that never came to fruition. He was originally attached to star in The Lost City of Z way back in 2008, where he was set to play British soldier and spy Percy Fawcett, a role that ultimately went to Charlie Hunnam. Brad Pitt was later set to star in the spy thriller The Grey Man, but that never got off the ground either. With filming already set to begin in just a few months, it seems fans who have always wanted to see Brad Pitt star in a James Gray movie, will finally get their wish. No release schedule was given, but it's possible that this could be ready to hit theaters by the end of 2018, if production gets started on time.

James Gray is directing from a script he co-wrote with Ethan Gross, who previously wrote for the hit Fox TV sci-fi TV series Fringe. RT Features financed the development of this project, with Brad Pitt producing through his Plan B production company. Also producing is James Gay, RT Features' Rodrigo Teixeira, Keep Your Head Productions' Anthony Katagas and Mad River's Marc Butan. RT Features' Lourenco Sant'Anna and Sophie Mas are serving as executive producers. It isn't known if this will be a big-budget sci-fi thriller, but James Gray typically doesn't direct movies with massive budgets, so it seems unlikely.

Brad Pitt most recently starred in the Netflix original movie War Machine, and last year's World War II thriller Allied, alongside Marion Cotillard. The actor also serves as an executive producer on the highly-anticipated Okja, which debuts June 28 on the Netflix streaming service. James Gray's other directing credits include The Immigrant, Two Lovers, We Own the Night, The Yard, Little Odessa, and he also directed an episode of The Red Road. Hopefully we'll have more on Ad Astra in the very near future, as we get closer and closer to production getting under way.

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