You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Ad Astra at The Hollywood Reporter.
Online and Social
There’s nothing wrong with the website for the film, it just never does anything to expand beyond the site template used by Fox for many of its films and doesn’t feature much material of interest unless you want to watch the trailers again.
Media and Press
Gray addressed some of the scheduling issues in late February when he said sequences were still being finished, but admitted it might not be done in time for a planned debut at Cannes 2019. That seemed to be confirmed in early May when the movie was shifted to a vague “later,” presumed at the time to be a fall release date that would be better positioned for a potential awards run.
After it was finally given an official release date and the marketing had begun, Gray offered more thoughts on the history of delays and other impediments to the movie being seen by the public. That included Fox being subsumed by Disney, which added its own set of unique complications. While in Venice Pitt talked about how he felt the story was one of the requirements of masculinity and the burdens thereof.
Empire released an exclusive trailer just before the Venice Film Festival began. That one focused much more tightly on Roy’s worldview, using that to underscore the connection between the search for his father and his own search for answers about the universe.
A profile of Pitt touched on how this is one of two high-profile roles for the actor this year, the other being in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and allowed Gary to talk about how Pitt’s laid-back attitude was perfect for the character he plays. He received a similar profile in GQ.
The Washington Post hosted a conversation with Gray, Pitt and NASA employees about how the filmmakers worked to make the space sequences as realistic as possible.
Further interviews with Pitt allowed him to talk about the movie and its story while Gray was interviewed about how he wanted to strip away some of the mythical trappings of the astronaut identity in the story.
Picking Up the Spare
Seems the promotional placement for Lockheed Martin was more significant than was even hinted at in the campaign.