Brad Pitt is counting down to blast off.
The trailer for his upcoming sci-fi flick, “Ad Astra,” was released Wednesday and follows astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) as he attempts to locate his “hero” father (Tommy Lee Jones), who went missing while “in pursuit of knowledge” — aka dad was on a mission to discover extraterrestrial lifeforms.
In the years since Jones’ character vanished, Earth has fallen prey to something dubbed “The Surge,” which could be linked to Pitt’s papa’s “Lima Project” experiments with a “highly classified material” that threatens the entire solar system.
“All life could be destroyed,” McBride is ominously warned in the trailer. “We’re counting on you to find out what’s happening out there.”
It appears that Pitt plays a haunted man on a mission — to save his planet.
The long-delayed film is finally set to touch down in US theaters on Sept. 21, after previously aborted missions in January and May of this year.
Also spotted in the “Ad Astra” trailer: Ruth Negga, a best actress Oscar nominee for 2016’s “Loving,” and Liv Tyler, making an auspicious return to the sci-fi genre after 1998’s “Armageddon.”
Jones (represented in the trailer by way of an 8×10 black-and-white glossy shot circa 1978’s “The Eyes of Lauren Mars”) and his “Space Cowboys” co-star Donald Sutherland have supporting roles in the film, which director James Gray has previously compared to Joseph Conrad’s classic book, “Heart of Darkness.” (Trivia buff alert: Conrad’s novella also served as the inspiration for the Francis Ford Coppola’s classic “Apocalypse Now.”)
Gray admits he’s “terrified” by this fan fave genre.
“The science-fiction genre is so tricky because there are elements of fantasy usually involved, and there are also fantastical elements,” Gray tells Collider. “What I’m trying to do is the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie and to basically say, ‘Space is awfully hostile to us.’ It’s kind of a ‘Heart of Darkness’ story about traveling to the outer edge of our solar system. I have a lot of hopes for it but it is certainly ambitious.”