Serious space exploration movies used to be hard to come by. Mainly because they all flopped.

Sunshine, Mission To Mars, Red Planet, Solaris, Supernova. All big budget, hard sci-fi, astronaut films that never recovered their initial production budgets.

But starting in 2013 with Gravity, then continuing with Interstellar and The Martian, rocket ships, theoretical physics and space-walks have made a big come back. 

Now director James Grey is teaming up with Brad Pitt to bring us Ad Astra:

An astronaut travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. He uncovers secrets which challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Sounds complicated. Check out the latest trailer:

And a one-minute TV commercial that shows a bit more:

I don’t know… looks pretty cool, some great shots… but what is it really about?

  • Gravity: Astronaut fights to survive after her craft is damaged. Simple.
  • The Martain: Astronaut fight to survive after he is left behind on Mars. Simple.
  • Interstellar: Cool-ass astronaut goes through a wormhole to find a new planet for mankind to live on while scoring the babe and blowing up his rival. OK, not as simple as the first two but still pretty basic.

Now, Bradley is going to try to find his dad and save the planet while uncovering “secrets which challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos”.

And to top it off, Ad Astra is Latin for “to the stars”. As fellow Goblin LordGarth would say, it sounds like a pretentious wankfest.  

Despite all this, I will be there opening night because it’s big-budget, hard sci-fi with a competent director behind the camera. I just doubt mainstream audiences will follow me.

They are probably preoccupied with more important matters.