Just days after launching our 2021 Movie Preview, we’re already having to make an alteration. The next film from Oscar-winning La La Land and Whiplash filmmaker Damien Chazelle is being pushed out of 2021 and into 2022, with Paramount Pictures shifting its release date a full year.
The highly anticipated film is described as an epic set in Hollywood during the 1920s, as Tinseltown is on the cusp of transitioning from the silent era to “talkies.” It follows a number of Hollywood figures both historical and fictional, and Chazelle already has Brad Pitt set in a lead role with Margot Robbie in talks to co-star.
The R-rated drama was originally set for release on December 25, 2021, but likely due to COVID restrictions delaying filming, Paramount has pushed the movie’s release date back a full year to December 25, 2022 with a wide release on January 6, 2023. No doubt Paramount is positioning this one for a major Oscar campaign, hence the importance of the awards-friendly release date.
Chazelle’s Oscar-nominated La La Land star Emma Stone was originally set to star in Babylon but was replaced by Robbie. No reason was given for the shift, but Stone’s recent pregnancy news may have been a factor. Filming has not yet begun and it’s unclear when that will start. COVID cases are surging in Los Angeles right now, where Babylon will likely shoot, so perhaps Chazelle and Co. simply want to wait until cases drop and the vaccine is widely distributed to start production. This new release date certainly gives them more flexibility now.
After winning the Best Director Oscar for La La Land, Chazelle changed things up and made the gritty, emotional Neil Armstrong drama First Man – which, if you ask me, was sorely underrated. He most recently directed the first couple episodes of the Netflix series The Eddy, and Babylon is being positioned as his next big project.