James Gray's sci-fi drama finally gets its debut preview.

By Joey Nolfi
June 05, 2019 at 03:28 AM EDT

“We have a job to do. Are you ready?”

James Gray’s long-gestating awards prospective space drama Ad Astra has finally launched its first trailer into orbit.

The new clip stars Brad Pitt as astronaut Roy McBride who traverses the outer edges of the solar system in search of his long lost father (Tommy Lee Jones), who disappeared two decades prior after leaving earth in search of advanced extraterrestrial life on Neptune. The mission unravels a mystery that threatens the entire solar system. “All life could be destroyed,” McBride is informed. “We’re counting on you to find out what’s happening out there.”

Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, and Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga also have supporting roles in the film, which Gray previously compared to Joseph Conrad’s classic novella Heart of Darkness.

“I’m terrified by it. The science-fiction genre is so tricky because there are elements of fantasy usually involved, and there are also fantastical elements,” the filmmaker — primarily known for his work in human dramas like The Immigrant, Two Lovers, and The Lost City of Ztold Collider during a 2017 interview. “What I’m trying to do is the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie 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. I have a lot of hopes for it but it is certainly ambitious.”

Walt Disney Studios

Initially set for release by 20th Century Fox, Ad Astra will now be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, which acquired the famed studio and its Fox Searchlight prestige subsidiary (as well as rights to the Avatar, X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four franchises).

Ad Astra blasts off into theaters on Sept. 20. Watch the film’s first trailer above.

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