Disney-owned 20th Century Fox has released a new clip from the upcoming sci-fi drama Ad Astra that zeroes in on what’s surely one of the most action-filled (if not the most action-filled) moments from the movie. The future-set story follows a man named Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who is sent into space to try and find his father (Tommy Lee Jones), who disappeared on a mission decades earlier. While the logline and the involvement of Lost City of Z and The Immigrant filmmaker James Grey point towards a more introspective, character-centric drama, this clip really plays up the action as we see Pitt’s character having a shootout with some space pirates on the moon. As one does.
But I’d caution folks that this is almost certainly not indicative of the movie as a whole. Initial reactions out of the film’s Venice Film Festival premiere have likened it more to Apocalypse Now than Gravity, with the film focusing on the psychological struggle of Pitt’s character. Gray’s movies are far from action-filled, so while it’s great to see him stretching his talents with DP Hoyte van Hoytema by his side on an action sequence such as this, you probably shouldn’t go into the movie expecting a non-stop thrill ride.
The release of this clip is curious, as it feels destined to set up unfair expectations. The marketing is spearhead by Disney now that they’ve taken control of 20th Century Fox, but a movie like Ad Astra is very different than a movie like Avengers: Endgame or Dumbo. Is this indicative of the kind of marketing we can expect from future Fox films like Ford v. Ferrari—playing up the more commercial aspects while potentially hiding the film’s actual tone? It wouldn’t be the first time marketing was used to mislead folks, and I’m curious to see how this plays out going forward as Ad Astra and Ford v. Ferrari are expected to be serious Oscar contenders.
Anyway, check out the new Ad Astra clip below, which is genuinely exciting. The film also stars Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland and opens in theaters on September 20th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ad Astra:
A paranoid thriller in space that follows Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) on a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.