The Damien Chazelle-directed epic period film, Babylon, follows the tale of the rise and fall of several ambitious dreamers during a time of uncontrolled excess and wickedness in 1920s Hollywood. With a film tackling early Hollywood, it’s reasonable that the director chose well-known names from the modern era, boasting ensemble casts like Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Tobey Maguire, who—in retrospect—don’t need much introduction for some to become familiarized with. The film undoubtedly boasts the largest cast, and Paramount Pictures has recently released a new featurette that captures the entire opulent cast in a two-minute clip.
It’s safe to say that Chazelle enjoys bringing Hollywood to the forefront. After presenting a gilded-up version of the film industry in La La Land, the filmmaker decided to go centuries back and look into the shift from the silent era to the talkies. The featurette, which aims to highlight the cast that brought the Babylon film to life, features the director discussing how the film boasts the largest cast in terms of speaking parts while also managing to fill the film with spectacular people. As Pitt, who played Jack Conrad in the film, put it, Babylon has many characters happening, with “700 excess in the background” walking in and out of the frame. With an aim to surprise the audience, Chazelle explained that the ensemble is a statement of its own. The director also stated that Babylon is the most ambitious project he has ever tried—and, true enough, it includes a lot of familiar names.
Written and directed by the Academy Award-winning director himself, Babylon takes place in 1920s Los Angeles, during an era where silent films faded out of favor. The comedy-drama is led by Robbie, Pitt, and Narcos: Mexico‘s Diego Calva. The film’s cast members also include Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries), actress-turned-director Olivia Wilde, Ready or Not‘s Samara Weaving, Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale), Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown), Li Jun Li (Modern Persuasion), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts), Lukas Haas (The Ryan White Story), Jovan Adepo (The Violent Heart), and The Wolf of Wall Street‘s P. J. Byrne, among other famous names in Hollywood.
The film is produced by Olivia Hamilton, Marc Platt, and Matthew Plouffe, with executive producers Maguire, Michael Beugg, Wyck Godfrey, Helen Estabrook, and Adam Siegel.
Babylon is now playing in theaters. Check out the ensemble-filled featurette and the film’s official synopsis below.
“A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.”