I’ve been wondering why James Gray‘s Ad Astra — a hard-luck, behind-the-eight-ball sci-fi movie if I ever heard of one — hasn’t been screening despite Wikipedia, IMDB and Box-Office Mojo all reporting an opening date of 5.24.19.
The answer is that Ad Astra, a father-son, space-travel, Heart of Darkness-like drama with Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland and Jamie Kennedy, isn’t opening in May. The latest is that it’ll “most likely premiere at Venice,” according to a distribution exec.
The 5.24 date was announced last October. But here we are less than a month away and there’s no trailer, no screenings…nothing. That’s because the Disney-Fox transition has slowed down the usual process, and so no one thought to tell Wikipedia, IMDB and Box Office Mojo to change the 5.24 date to “sometime in the fall of ’19.”
Ad Astra was made for only $50 million. For a film of this scope (astronaut space adventure, other realms and universes, etc.) that’s a nickle-and-dime budget.
Last February Gray was asked what were the odds that Ad Astra might show up at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
“We’re trying, we’re certainly hopeful,” Gray replied. “The issue is a little bit out of our hands ’cause the shots come in from the VFX houses and right now our delivery date is late April early May, which is really, really cutting it close. You want your visual effects to be so good that nobody thinks about them, that people don’t think of them as visual effects.”