When Damien Chazelle emerged in 2009 with the lo-fi musical “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” he made it clear that music was going to be crucial to his narratives. This year’s “Whiplash,” chronicling the trials of a talented drummer, is set against the backdrop of the jazz world, and it has been a smash success. Premiering at Sundance to great acclaim, and continuing the buzz at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, it has been Chazelle’s breakout movie. So perhaps it’s no surprise he’s sticking with the general themes of young people, grand ambitions and bringing along Miles Teller once again.
The Wrap reports that Teller, along with Emma Watson, is in talks to star in “La La Land.” As you might have surmised from the title, this one will be set in Los Angeles, and follow a young couple — actress, Mia, and jazz pianist, Sebastian (only in LA!) — who try to keep their relationship together in a city of cutthroat careerism. But more intriguingly, this one is a musical, one that is being described as tonally along the lines of “The Graduate” and “Boogie Nights,” which sounds pretty great to our ears.
Everything is in the process of being packaged, but given how hot Chazelle is right now, with these leads, we’d wager this can come together. And so, another young filmmaker to keep an eye on, and one who’s determined to strike while the iron is hot.