Damien Chazelle‘s next film, Babylon, will be set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, so it makes sense to cast Jean Smart who is also in the Golden Age of her career. In the past five to 10 years, Smart has been cast in a number of starring and supporting roles, and she steals the project each time with her strong characters and biting quips. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who exclusively revealed the news, sources suggest that Smart will play a Hollywood journalist who can make or break careers.
Babylon will be written and directed by Chazelle and is set in the late 1920s as the film industry shifts from silent films to talkies, so we might have another Singin’ in the Rain or The Artist on our hands. Similarly to both of these plots, Babylon will explore the rise and fall of an ensemble cast which has been described as “The Great Gatsby on steroids.” The fantastic cast includes Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Katherine Waterston, Max Minghella, Samara Weaving, Olivia Wilde, Tobey Maguire, Phoebe Tonkin, filmmaker Spike Jonze and more.
Smart is a great addition to the ensemble and is perfectly cast as a harsh Hollywood critic. In the past few years, she has made a name for herself starring in supporting roles like Fargo, Legion, and Watchmen, but can also be seen in two great roles this past year. Additionally, one of her best and probably often unrecognized projects is Netflix‘s adult animated comedy Big Mouth, in which she voices tempting and unforgettable Depression Kitty. Fans may recognize her from recently playing Kate Winslet‘s mother in Mare of Easttown, and she’s also garnering lots of Emmy buzz for her dynamic turn as an aging comedian in the highly entertaining Hacks (which is also on our best TV shows of the year so far list).
Her career renaissance expands beyond Babylon, as she is also set to star in Tate Taylor‘s next film Miss Macy. Smart will star as the titular character, which tells the true story of a young girl who is set on a path for success by an eccentric woman who believes in her. Taylor‘s credits include a diverse list of features, ranging from period dramas like The Help to action films like Ava. However, based on the summary, I’m guessing Miss Macy will lean more towards The Help and pull some heartstrings (and maybe some awards too).
Babylon is currently in production, with Paramount Pictures set to distribute. They are planning for a December 25, 2022 awards season limited release, before going wide on January 6, 2023.