James Gray first met his Ad Astra star Brad Pitt at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995. His debut feature, Little Odessa, had played there on a road that started at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, and Pitt responded instantly to it, setting up a meeting with Gray that, while it took more than 20 years to bear collaborative fruit, nevertheless resulted in a friendship that endures to this day.
Pitt plays Major Roy McBride, whose dreams of the stars come from the legendary astronaut his father (Tommy Lee Jones) represented. Missing in space since Roy was 16, and presumed dead, Roy receives word that, in fact, his father might be alive, and responsible for energy attacks that are crippling Earth’s infrastructure. He must journey through the solar system to learn the truth.
The movie was coming together as Gray was working to finish The Lost City Of Z, his previous film, which marked his first collaboration with Pitt, who produced it through his company Plan B. It was during the editing process on The Lost City Of Z, Gray says, speaking shortly before the Venice premiere of Ad Astra, that he and Pitt started to discuss a reteaming that would cast Pitt as the star of one of Gray’s movies for the first time.
In marketing its new reality competition series, Fox has converted the exterior of its West L.A. lot and launched an augmented reality game.
Ahead of the Feb. 5 premiere of Fox’s newest reality competition series, Lego Masters, the iconic toy bricks are taking over the network’s studio lot and starring in an augmented reality experience.
Starting Monday and running through Feb. 9, the exterior of the West Los Angeles lot and its “Fox Studios” gate letters have been converted to a Lego look and feature a Fox logo entirely built out of blue Legos outside the Pico Boulevard gates. The studio stage walls facing the street also highlight some of the network’s programming, including billboards for The Masked Singer, Deputy and 911: Lone Star designed out of Legos. The takeover also extends to a number of bus stations throughout the city.
Lego Masters, hosted by Lego Movie star Will Arnett and produced by Endemol Shine North America and Brad Pitt’s Plan B, sees 12 teams of two go head-to-head in ambitious brick-building challenges. Mayim Bialik, Terry Crews, Nicole Byer and Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will appear as special guests throughout the season.
The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) presented its highest honor, the Maltin Modern Master Award (established in 1995, and then re-named to recognize long-time renowned film critic Leonard Maltin in 2015), to actor Brad Pitt at the Arlington Theatre on January 21st. The award was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, and the evening was a celebration of his work, not only in his two most recent films, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Ad Astra, but also his entire film catalog.
During the two-hour presentation, featuring clips from many of Pitt’s films, and discussion with Maltin, himself, the actor talked in-depth about everything from his first Oscar nomination, his major in college, growing up as a film buff, his first impression of a professional film set, his unsuccessful first attempt at getting a SAG card, when he felt like he was actually a professional working actor, the filmmakers that have made the greatest impact on him, one of the film roles that he passed on, and a common theme in many of his roles.