Despite David Fincher’s sustained interest in the blockbuster sequel, development on World War Z 2 has all but ground to a halt over at Paramount, after the studio abruptly removed both it and the troubled Friday the 13th reboot from its current release slate.
But as one door closes – temporarily, mind you – it looks as though another is about to open for Brad Pitt, who is reportedly circling a lead role in James Gray’s sci-fi epic, Ad Astra. Deadline has the scoop, revealing that Pitt’s Plan B production company is in the process of negotiating a deal with New Regency for the ambitious project. Gray, who is coming off the sweeping adventure movie The Lost City of Z, co-wrote the script and will direct, with filming expected to get underway in May of this year.
Details are scarce, but early morsels reveal Ad Astra follows Roy McBride, a “slightly autistic space engineer” who embarks on a daring space mission to find his wayward father. Last seen 20 years ago, Papa McBride left Earth in the hope of discovering extra-terrestrial life on Neptune. James Gray dreamed up the concept with co-writer Ethan Ross. As for the intriguing title, it’s Latin for “through hardships to the stars,” which is rather fitting given the narrative arc at hand.
Negotiations are ongoing, but we’ll be bringing you all the latest on Ad Astra as this story unfolds. Following a world premiere at NYFF (our review), The Lost City of Z opens opposite The Fate of the Furious on April 14th. As for Brad Pitt, now that World War Z 2 has been placed on ice, the Hollywood veteran can next be seen in David Michôd’s biting satire, War Machine.