Update: December 2, 2020: Deadline reports Emma Stone is dropping out of “Babylon” due to scheduling reasons. Damien Chazelle and his team are in early talks with Margot Robbie to join the film in the role Stone originally signed up for. Brad Pitt is still attached. Hiring Robbie would reunite her with Pitt after Oscar winner “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Update: July 15, 2019 (5:40pm ET): According to Deadline, Brad Pitt is also circling a role in Damien Chazelle’s new movie.
Earlier: Damien Chazelle is in production on his Netflix music drama series “The Eddy,” but he’s also gearing up for a return to the big screen in the near future. An exclusive report from Deadline says numerous studios are bidding for “Babylon,” a Hollywood period drama that Chazelle wrote as his next feature directorial effort. Lionsgate is reportedly the frontrunner to land the picture after successfully releasing Chazelle’s “La La Land” to the tune of $446 million worldwide and 14 Oscar nominations.
Plot details for “Babylon” are remaining under wraps. Deadline reports the film is not a musical but is “a bold auteur piece with a significant budget.” According to Variety, the film is set in Hollywood during the 1920s as the industry transitions from silent films to talkies. The script blends together real people from the time with fictional characters, similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
The film will be produced by Olivia Hamilton, Matt Plouffe and Marc Platt. Chazelle’s “La La Land” leading lady Emma Stone is circling the movie as the lead, although no deal has been made. Reuniting Chazelle and Stone would be a huge boost to the project as “La La Land” won Stone the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Overall, Chazelle’s “La La Land” took home six Oscars. Chazelle’s win for Best Director made him the youngest honoree in the category.
Chazelle’s last directorial effort, the Neil Armstrong space drama “First Man,” opened in theaters from Universal Pictures last October. Despite critical acclaim, the Ryan Gosling-led picture bombed at the box office with just $105 million worldwide. Even the film’s domestic gross of $44 million was significantly below its nearly $60 million production budget. “First Man” was nominated for four Oscars earlier this year and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
First up for Chazelle is “The Eddy,” his Netflix television series starring Andre Holland and Amandla Stenberg. The series is set in Paris and centers around a fledgling jazz club owner and his fraught relationship with his daughter. Netflix has not given a release date to the project.
As for Stone, the actress most recently starred in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.” The royal period drama earned 10 Oscar nominations earlier this year and nabbed Stone an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Stone recently wrapped production on the sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” and is still attached to star as Cruella de Vil in Disney’s live-action movie as the “101 Dalmatians” villain.