Tommy Lee Jones will likely join Brad Pitt on a trip to the stars in Ad Astra

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Deep-space sci-fi epics have garnered mixed results in recent years. It seems that for every Gravity, there is a Passengers and for every Interstellar, there is an After Earth. That said, the genre has a pretty intriguing film on the horizon, Ad Astra, which just got some pretty intriguing casting news.

According to Deadline, the upcoming space exploration epic starring Brad Pitt, will likely add another marquee actor in short order. Tommy Lee Jones is said to be in “final talks” to join the project, but before we talk about what his role might be, here’s a quick synopsis of the project from IMDB: “An Army Corps engineer searches across the galaxy for his father, who disappeared on a mission to find alien life 20 years ago.”

Word is, Jones will join as Pitt’s (Roy McBride) father — who took a one-way trip to Neptune and never returned — but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. James Gray, who recently worked with Pitt on the well-reviewed The Lost City of Z, is set to direct.

Jones has been pretty busy of late, appearing as CIA Director Robert Dewey in Jason Bourne, and Max Adams in Mechanic: Resurrection. While it’s fun to see him in popcorn-style action flicks, Jones certainly has the chops to take on much weightier roles. At this point, it’s unclear how much screen time this character will have (him being lost in space and all), but the film itself should have plenty of gravitas.

Apparently, it has something of a Heart of Darkness vibe. For those that slept through 11th grade English, that’s a Joseph Conrad novel in which an ambitious young adventurer journeys deep into the African Congo, in search of a legendary ivory trader named Kurtz. If that rings a bell, it’s because Apocalypse Now was partly based on the book and it will be interesting to see how the story translates into outer space.

For those wondering about the title of this film, it’s Latin for “to the stars.” Funny how something so epic and alluring sounds so ham-fistedly literal when translated.

Jones hasn’t signed on the dotted line just yet, but if and when he does, he’ll add this film to a slate that includes the just-completed Shock and Awe and Villa Capri. Ad Astra’s release date is still very much TBD, but we’ll update you as information becomes available. Stay tuned.

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