With Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones already set to star, the sci-fi thriller Ad Astra is filling out its supporting cast, with Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga signing on to star. Unfortunately, no details have been given regarding her character yet, and it isn't clear how many more primary roles still need to be filled out for this sci-fi thriller. This film continues the successful partnership between Brad Pitt's production company Plan B and New Regency, who have teamed up on critically-acclaimed films such as The Big Short, Best Picture Winner 12 Years A Slave and director Ryan Coogler's upcoming feature Wrong Answer.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the story centers on one man's journey across the solar system to find his long-missing father, a "renegade scientist who poses a threat to all mankind." The first report on this project back in June revealed that Brad Pitt is playing Roy McBride, described as a "slightly autistic space engineer," who sets off on a journey to find his father, who disappeared 20 years ago on a mission to Neptune where he went in search of intelligent life on the planet. The story is said to have a "Heart of Darkness vibe," the Joseph Conrad novel that served as the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.
The film will be directed by James Gray, who explored similar themes in his last film, The Lost City of Z, which debuted in theaters this past spring. He will be directing from a screnplay he co-wrote with Ethan Gross. Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing through their Plan B production company, alongside RT Features' Rodrigo Teixeira, Keep Your Head Productions' Anthony Katagas and Gray. Mad River's Marc Butan and RT Features' Lourenco Sant'Anna and Sophie Mas are executive producing along with Yu Dong, Jeffrey Chan, Anthony Mosawi and Paul Conway.
New Regency, 20th Century Fox and Bona Film Group are financing the film, with 20th Century Fox set to distribute in the U.S. and internationally in every market except Greater China, where Bona Film Group will distribute. This film also finally brings together Brad Pitt and James Gray, after they were both slated to collaborate on two different films. Brad Pitt was once slated to play play British soldier and spy Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z, which was ultimately played Charlie Hunnam. The actor and filmmaker were also slated to collaborate on The Grey Man, but that project never got off the ground. It seems that the third time may in fact be the charm, for both Brad Pitt and director James Gray.
This film actually marks a reunion for Ruth Negga and Brad Pitt, since she played the supporting role of a World Health Organization doctor in the 2013 thriller World War Z. Later that year, she went on to star in Jimi: All Is By My Side and landed the important role of Raina on ABC's hit Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This lead to bigger roles on the big screen, including the title role in Iona, Lady Taria in the Warcraft movie, and her Oscar-nominated role as Mildred Loving in the critically-acclaimed Jeff Nichols film Loving. She can also currently be seen playing Tulip O'Hare on AMC's Preacher, with Season 2 episodes airing Monday nights on AMC. Hopefully we'll have more on Ad Astra as the cast continues to come together.