Olivia Wilde, Tobey Maguire, Phoebe Tonkin and Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Jonze are set to join Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in Damien Chazelle‘s Babylon.
THR reports that the Paramount project is being described by insiders as “The Great Gatsby on steroids,” as the ensemble-driven film takes place in the late 1920s during Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies, i.e. movies with sound.
The film co-stars Jovan Adepo, Katherine Waterston, Li Jun Li, Max Minghella, Lukas Haas, Rory Scovel, Samara Weaving, Eric Roberts, P.J. Byrne, Damon Gupton and Flea.
Chazelle‘s wife, Olivia Hamilton, is producing with Marc Platt and Matthew Plouffe, while Maguire is executive producing alongside Adam Siegel and Helen Estabrook. Production is slated to start next week in Los Angeles, and Chazelle will have plenty of time for post-production, as Babylon isn’t slated to hit select theaters until Dec. 25, 2022. The film will be released wide on Jan. 6, 2023.
Wilde recently wrapped her next directorial effort, New Line‘s thriller Don’t Worry Darling starring Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Harry Styles. She’ll next direct the gymnastics drama Perfect starring Thomasin McKenzie as Kerri Strug, and she’s also attached to direct a Spider-Woman movie for Sony.
Jonze is best known as the director of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Her, the latter of which brought him an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. He pops up every now and then as an actor in other people’s movies and I always relish his feature appearances, which include Three Kings, Bad Grandpa and The Wolf of Wall Street. He last directed the Beastie Boys Story documentary that debuted on Apple TV+.
Maguire hasn’t been seen on the big screen since the 2014 chess drama Pawn Sacrifice — I was rocking my PS hoodie last week, by the way) — though he did narrate the hit animated movie The Boss Baby back in 2017. As for Tonkin, she starred in The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals.
Chazelle has assembled an impressive cast here by any measure, so now the question will be whether he can rebound from the misstep of First Man (just one man’s opinion, mind you) and recapture the magic of his earlier films such as Whiplash and La La Land. I think he has another great movie in him, and I can’t wait to find out if Babylon is it.