The project was announced in early 2016, with Gray saying he wanted to feature “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie”. Pitt signed on to star in April 2017 and the rest of the cast joined later that year. Filming began around Los Angeles that August, lasting through October.
Ad Astra premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 20, 2019 by 20th Century Fox. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise for Pitt’s performance and the strong visuals, and grossed $133 million worldwide against an $80–100 million budget. At the 92nd Academy Awards the film was nominated for Best Sound Mixing.