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Brad Pitt confirmed to star in James Gray's sci-fi epic Ad Astra

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Although Paramount Pictures is still actively developing a sequel to WORLD WAR Z, with David Fincher apparently still interested in taking the helm, its removal from the studio's slate freed up a chunk of Brad Pitt's schedule. At the time it was suggested that Pitt may take on the lead role in AD ASTRA for James Gray (THE LOST CITY OF Z), and now Gray has confirmed that Brad Pitt will indeed star in the upcoming sci-fi epic.

The director broke the news while recently speaking with Collider and also revealed that the film will start shooting in just a few months.

The science-fiction genre is so tricky because there are elements of fantasy usually involved, and there are also fantastical elements. 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… It starts shooting July 17th, so not too far away. I’m filled with terror, but that’s fine (laughs).

Brad Pitt and James Gray have come close to working together several times in the past, with Pitt at one point attached to star in THE LOST CITY OF Z before he had to drop out and was replaced by Charlie Hunnam. Pitt will play the "slightly autistic" space engineer Roy McBride in AD ASTRA, which will be set "twenty years after his father left on a one-way mission to Neptune in order to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence, McBride travels through the solar system to find him and understand why his mission failed." Crafting a film with the "most realistic depiction of space travel" which has ever been seen in a movie seems like a tall order, but as a sucker for space travel movies, I'm intrigued to see what Gray and Pitt can come up with.

The official synopsis for James Gray's THE LOST CITY OF Z:

THE LOST CITY OF Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett – supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide de camp (Robert Pattinson) – returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. An epically-scaled tale of courage and obsession, told in Gray’s classic filmmaking style, THE LOST CITY OF Z is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and those individuals driven to achieve greatness at any cost.

THE LOST CITY OF Z is set for an April 14th release.

Source: Collider

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