High on the list of many cinephile’s most anticipated films of 2019 list is James Gray’s sci-fi epic “Ad Astra” starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and Ruth Negga in the story of an astronaut who ventures out into space to contact his lost father.
“The Lost City of Z” director tries his hand at a space travel movie, aiming for both realism in the way it handles space and a more mythological approach to the storytelling which takes its cue heavily from author Joseph Conrad’s arguably most famous work. Appearing at a special Q&A held in Toronto this week, Gray talked about his influences:
“His father may or may not be out there on Neptune doing very bad things and they send him out there to communicate with him, and it’s very ‘Heart of Darkness.’ It’s sorta like, if you got ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘2001’ in a giant mash-up and you put a little Conrad in there and you hope it’s as good. But it’s probably not. I’m being silly. But those were the influences. It’s my attempt to kind of treat that father/son story…which is so central to Western culture, in hopefully a new way.”
The film is currently targeting a May 24th release but Gray says he’s still deep into editing the movie and isn’t rushing things: “It’ll be done sometime in the next four years or so. [Laughs].”