Trivia for Ad Astra
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- The first collaboration between Brad Pitt and James Gray. They planned to work together on The Lost City of Z (2016), but Pitt dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. He remained on board as an executive producer.
- Brad Pitt and Ruth Negga previously co-starred in World War Z (2013).
- The film reunites Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones and Loren Dean who previously appeared in Space Cowboys (2000).
- First 20th Century Fox film to be released by Disney since the acquisition of 2017.
- Brad Pitt and James Gray originally planned to collaborate on adapting Mark Greaney's novel "The Gray Man", but Pitt later dropped out and the project never finalized. This marks the third time they plan to work together (second time on The Lost City of Z (2016), and the first time they really do as director and actor.
- The title means "to the stars" in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for "Per Ardua Ad Astra" (Through the hardships to the Stars).
- James Gray's Sci-Fi epic will feature the Moon that has newspaper outlets, a TV show called "Moon's Got Talent!", and Somali-type Pirates.
- James Gray has said in a recent interview that his upcoming Sci-Fi epic is heavily influenced by Apocalypse Now (1979) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
- Director James Gray has said it will feature "the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie." He's also described it as "Sorta like, if you got 'Apocalypse Now' and '2001' in a giant mash-up and you put a little [Joseph] Conrad in there."
- It was scheduled for release on May 24, 2019, but the premiere showing at the Cannes film fest was canceled and there are rumors that the opening may be delayed due to the Fox-Disney merger.
- Brad Pitt and Liv Tyler have both worked with Bruce Willis.
- Jamie Kennedy filmed a scene for this film that got cut out due to the Disney-Fox merge and its release being pushed to September.
- Armageddon (1998) starring Liv Tyler also had to do with space exploration.
- During a September 2019 interview on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," director and cowriter James Gray explained that the eerie sound that plays in a loop over the opening shots of the movie was actually an altered and sped-up recording of Tommy Lee Jones saying, "I love you, my son" repeatedly. Gray explained, "we wanted it to be almost unconscious. It almost sounds like an ultrasound for an unborn baby. It's very weird."
- During a September 2019 interview on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," director and cowriter James Gray said that he created his own playlist for himself to listen to through his headphones as he was directing the movie. Among the works on that playlist were: electronic drones by Eliane Radigue, sitar music by Ravi Shankar, the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg; The Planets by Gustav Holst, the fourth movement of "The Rothko Chapel" by Morton Feldman, music by Krzysztof Penderecki, and electromagnetic wave transmissions from outer space, including from the planet Jupiter. Gray also played some of these for the cast and crew to communicate a mood during filming.
- This is not the first time Greg Bryk plays a Martian. He's also in The Expanse as Lt. Lopez, an officer of the Martian Congressional Navy in the show's first season.
- Director James Gray admitted to Empire magazine that he had to compromise with the studio on the ending of the movie to get the film green-lit and even with a major star/producer like Brad Pitt on board they still struggled for years to get it made.
- When astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) arrives on Mars and enters the base it can be seen that a graffiti tag is made on the wall behind him; after he is granted permission to proceed to the interior.
- A "Vegas Vic" neon cowboy sign can be seen on the edge of the moonbase.
- Brad Pitt in Ad Astra is the 8th cast member from the Ocean's series to appear in an outer space movie; Don Cheadle in Mission to Mars (2000), George Clooney in Solaris (2002) and with Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013), Andy Garcia in Passengers, Matt Damon in The Martian (2015) and with Anne Hathaway and Casey Affleck in Interstellar (2014) .
- Jamie Kennedy's role was cut from the final film.
- This is the second major science fiction film to feature the planet Neptune prominently, after 1997's Event Horizon.
- Brad Pitt's character Roy McBride shares his name with a real world wolf trapper, hired to capture the last remaining Mexican wolves in Durango, Mexico in 1980.
- In traveling from Mars to Neptune, the planets Jupiter and Saturn are mentioned, but no one ever mentions Uranus, which they would have had to pass.
- At the 19:25 mark Tommy Lee Jones can be seen wearing the exact same space outfit as he did in 'Space Cowboys' (2000). The only difference is the top two patches have been digitally altered to fit the Space Comm suits in Ad Astra.
- While shooting the climactic scene, Brad Pitt ended up crying unprompted in character. But as the scene takes place in zero-g, Pitt told director James Gray that the tear should be edited in post to float like a bubble off his face, rather than run down his cheek. "You gotta replace my tear, that's not how it works in zero-gravity," Pitt reportedly said, to which Gray responded, "I'm sorry, I'm keeping it. The acting's too good, buddy."
- As same as his character in 'Space Cowboys' (2000), Tommy Lee Jones' character finally faces his own death as an alone astronaut in outer space.