Director James Gray’s last film, the near-masterpiece The Lost City of Z, didn’t get Robert Pattinson the role of Batman (High Life and Good Time did), but it’s the role that propelled him into the conversation of the finest under-35 actors working today. For Gray’s next feature, Ad Astra, he’s working with Tommy Lee Jones, who was in… Batman Forever, along with Jim Carrey. Jones was not a fan. “I hate you. I really don’t like you,” the No Country for Old Men star told Carrey to his face during production. “I cannot sanction your buffoonery.”
What does this have to do with Ad Astra, outside of the loose Batman connection? Nothing, really. I just wanted to bring up the “buffoonery” story.
Besides, it’s not that Ad Astra needs my help — it’s an ambitious epic from Gray and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (who did masterful work in Interstellar) about Brad Pitt going on a space mission to rescue his father, played by Jones, who disappeared while searching for aliens. This thing sells itself (especially after watching the trailer). Here’s the official plot summary:
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
Ad Astra, which also stars Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, opens on September 20.