Damien Chazelle’s First Man may not have been the awards powerhouse people anticipated following on the heels of his acclaimed La La Land, but I think time will not only be kind to First Man (the awards season glare can block out a film’s best qualities in favor of what’s “appealing” to voters), but the reception hasn’t slowed down Chazelle. He’s already setting up his next picture, Babylon with Emma Stone and Brad Pitt in talks to star.
Per Variety, the film “is said take place during the transition from silent films to talkies and will feature a mix of real-life and fictional characters, similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” While the exact budget is still to be determined, sources have indicated Chazelle will be assembling an all-star ensemble to share the screen with Stone and Pitt.”
Although this will be Chazelle’s first feature since First Man, he’s been at work on the musical drama series The Eddy for Netflix starring Andre Holland, Joanna Kulig, Amandla Stenberg, and Tahar Rahim. There’s no release date yet for The Eddy, but presumably it will launch sometime in 2020.
According to Variety, Babylon will get a prime awards season release date of December 25, 2021 before going wide on January 7, 2022. If Paramount thinks they have a serious contender on their hands, I assume they’ll also put the movie on the festival circuit since it’s rare for a movie to debut in December without any festival presence and go on to win Best Picture. Still, by putting together Oscar-winners Chazelle, Stone, and Pitt, you’ve got a potent combination, and I hope this project holds together because I’m eager to see Chazelle continue to explore America’s past like he did with First Man but combining it with his love of Hollywood like he did with La La Land.