In a surprise to no one, Ad Astra has finally been pulled off its May 24th release date. The original sci-fi film from acclaimed writer/director James Grey had yet to debut so much as a trailer, and Grey himself maintained that incomplete visual effects meant the film would miss a Cannes Film Festival debut, so it makes sense that 20th Century Fox would decide to, you know, not put the movie in theaters just yet.
Per Deadline, Disney-owned Fox is now eyeing a fall release date for the film, which stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who travels to the outer reaches of the solar system to find his missing father, played by Tommy Lee Jones. This marks the first sci-fi effort from Grey, who’s best known for thoughtful dramas like The Immigrant and The Lost City of Z. The latter film was originally supposed to star Pitt, but scheduling issues forced him to back out. Charlie Hunnam took over the role in what remains one of the best—and best-shot—films of the last few years.
Fox now has Disney release dates to consider when plotting a course for Ad Astra. Fall is awards season, and James Mangold’s Ford vs. Ferrari movie starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon was recently shifted to November by Fox. The studio has The Art of Racing in the Rain in September and the Amy Adams-led The Woman in the Window in October, but one imagines Ad Astra would fare quite well somewhere in that corridor following a debut on the fall film festival circuit. Or perhaps Disney–Fox saves it for December.
Whatever the case, Ad Astra remains one of my most anticipated films of the year, and I’m glad we now have official word that the movie isn’t being dumped at the end of May without a proper marketing campaign. Between this and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, could Pitt be back in the Oscar race this year? Time will tell…