Brad Pitt stars as an astronaut in search of his long-lost father (Tommy Lee Jones) in Ad Astra.

An astronaut must venture to the edge of our solar system to save the planet in the first trailer for sci-fi drama Ad Astra.

Director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) has said he wanted to make a film that depicted space travel as realistically as possible “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.” The official synopsis strikes just the right note of vague grandiosity: “Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.”

The trailer fleshes out a few of the details. The plot concerns something called the LIMA project, which Roy’s father, Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones), captained. The mission was meant to hunt for advanced extraterrestrial life, but it disappeared about 16 years in, with the crew all presumed dead. Apparently that might not be the case: Clifford McBride may be very much alive—and responsible for a series of catastrophic power surges on Earth that have killed a lot of people. It’s up to Roy to head into space in search of whatever remains of the LIMA project, with orders to destroy it completely if necessary. Since that would also mean destroying his own father, it’s no wonder the pre-flight psychological evaluation is so concerned with his emotional state.

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