The masterful sci-fi, starring Brad Pitt, was set for release at the start of the year, before being moved to May and then again to September. However, Gray told Digital Spy that there "wasn't concern that the film wouldn't get released".
"It just was a question of when and how, and you can't worry about that stuff because it has nothing to do with you, nothing to do with your movie," he explained.
"There are forces at play in the market that are so huge that really the only thing you can do is sit back and hope for the best in your own specific case, and not take it personally. My movie is this tiny thing [and] the deal was 71 billion dollars."
As it happens, a September release for Ad Astra worked well and proved to be a great launchpad, putting it in early Oscar contention after rave reviews out of Venice Film Festival where it premiered.
"Fox was going to release it on Memorial Day weekend and when Disney bought Fox, they had Aladdin coming out that weekend and they didn't want to have two movies coming out against each other that they owned," Gray continued.
"That's why thankfully it got pushed to the fall which I thought was perfect. The only problem with it was people saying, 'Wait, what happened with it? What's wrong with the movie?'. And you're like, 'Dude, take a look, read the newspaper, it's not the movie'."
The sci-fi sees astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) investigate a series of deadly electrical storms that could be linked to his absent father (Tommy Lee Jones).
As good as Pitt is in the role, Gray said that he didn't write the movie for the actor and was instead influenced by the "real guys" Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, as well as the story of a real-life Mars mission planned for 2033.
"The capsule, I've seen it, I've seen the prototype, it's smaller than this room, and you're going to need to be in that space, four people for a year and a half," he reflected.
"So they're going to have to find people with what you might call schizoid personality issues, kind of on the spectrum, not needing other people to communicate with. Loners, basically.
"I found that very interesting, the first people who are going to walk on another planet are going to have to be very ill-equipped to discuss the more philosophical, metaphysical implications of such a journey."
Gray previously spoke to Digital Spy about Ad Astra's thrilling moon buggy chase that sees Pitt's astronaut take on moon pirates.
Ad Astra is out in cinemas on September 18.
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