Brad Pitt was one of the dozens of celebrities who attended the opening night of this year’s Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old A-list actor recently starred in Quentin Tarantino‘s black comedy Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, although he attended the festival in Venice to promote another film of his: the sci-fi drama Ad Astra. Pitt is also producing the movie as part of his Plan B company.

Ad Astra is about an astronaut who travels to the outer edges of space to find his missing father and discover a secret that threatens the survival of the human species. The film is directed by James Gray and also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland. 

Gray issued the following statement about Ad Astra, according to the Venice Film Festival’s website:

“I’d read this quote from Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote 2001: A Space Odissey: ‘Either we’re not alone in the universe, or we are, and both are equally terrifying.’ And I thought, well, I’ve never seen a movie about us being alone. The idea of space travel is both beautiful and horrifying at the same time. I’m hugely in favor of space exploration, but sometimes exploration is also just a means of escape. This led me to a personal place, a father/son story. I hope people understand that at some point it is incumbent on us both to cherish exploration and to cherish the Earth. The Earth and the human connection are worth preserving at all costs.”