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Oscar season is getting a double dose of Brad Pitt thanks to his leading turns in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and James Gray’s “Ad Astra.” Tarantino’s movie arrives this summer, while Gray’s long-awaited space drama hits theaters in September after numerous delays because of the movie’s extensive post-production. “Ad Astra” marks a reunion between Gray and Pitt after “The Lost City of Z,” which the actor produced (but did not star in) under his Plan B banner.
In “Ad Astra” Pitt gets in front of the camera as Roy McBride, an Army Corps engineer who embarks on an ambitious space mission to find out the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of his father. Clifford McBride, played by Tommy Lee Jones, was an astronaut who set out on a journey to Neptune looking for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence but never returned. The supporting cast includes Liv Tyler, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland, Kimberly Elise, and Jamie Kennedy.
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For Gray, “Ad Astra” marks a major jump not only into VFX filmmaking but also into the studio world. 20th Century Fox set up the movie and Disney is releasing it following the merger. Gray has been a respected voice in the independent film world for well over...
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