Paramount is staying in the Damien Chazelle business. The studio behind Chazelle’s latest and upcoming film “Babylon” has signed a multi-year first-look directing and producing deal with Chazelle and Olivia Hamilton’s production banner Wild Chickens Productions that will keep the “La La Land” filmmaker in the studio fold.
No specific projects or number of films were included as part of the announcement, but the deal will make Paramount Chazelle’s creative home for the near future.
“Damien is one of the rare auteur filmmakers making an indelible mark on the theatrical landscape, and it’s a testament to this studio’s best-in-class production, marketing and distribution teams that he and his producing partner, Olivia, have decided to make Paramount Pictures their creative home,” said Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins.
“We are honored to join the Paramount family. We are grateful to Brian, Michael and Daria and everyone at Paramount for believing in us, the value of original storytelling and the theatrical experience,” Chazelle and Hamilton said in a statement.
“We are already full speed ahead on this collaboration with the upcoming release of ‘Babylon,’ which really showcases just why we’re in the Damien and Olivia business. Their brilliance and originality embody Paramount’s long legacy of bold and fearless filmmaking, and we couldn’t be more grateful that they’ve chosen us as partners in bringing daring, cinematic stories to audiences everywhere,” Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group co-presidents Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland said.
“Babylon” opens in theaters wide on December 23 and is hoping to be a major awards contender for the studio, having already picked up five Golden Globe nominations. The film starring Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Diego Calva is a lavish, extravagant, three-plus-hour period drama exploring Hollywood’s Golden Age of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, and the film was produced on a reported $78 million budget.
“Babylon” is Chazelle’s fifth feature following his previous entries “First Man,” the box office smash “La La Land,” the critical darling “Whiplash,” and the indie “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.” He won a Best Director Oscar for “La La Land” in 2016.
As for Hamilton, “Babylon” marks her first feature producing credit. Previously, she produced, wrote, directed, and starred in the film “Surrogate,” which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Hamilton also ran the LA theater group PLAY, which she founded in 2013 and for which she served as creative director. She previously appeared in “Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” “First Man,” and “The Last Tycoon,” and also plays film director Ruth Adler in “Babylon.”