Damien Chazelle is one of the most sought-after directors around, and for good reason. When your first three films are Whiplash, La La Land, and First Man, finding a home for the next project is never really a concern. Chazelle’s latest, the silent-era drama Babylon, has found a new home at Paramount and even has an awards season release date.
THR reports Paramount has come aboard as distributor of Babylon, which Chazelle will write and direct. As previously reported earlier this year, Emma Stone and Brad Pitt are both in talks to star in the Hollywood drama set in the 1920s as silent movies make the transition to “talkies.” Pitt will reportedly play a fictional actor, but based on actor John Gilbert, who finds it difficult to transition into this new version of cinema. Gilbert is one of the great t tragic figures of this era and died young at the age of 38. Stone will play legendary actress Clara Bow, one of Hollywood’s first “It” girls.
While Chazelle has proven to be money, Paramount was still hesitant to sign on for his $100M, 180-page film. So they worked out a deal to have Chazelle slice down the script by 30 pages and reduce the budget, but this still sounds like a huge undertaking and may explain the awards season release date of Christmas Day 2021. You don’t make this kind of investment without big aspirations.