Per Deadline, several studios are lining up for Babylon, Damien Chazelle‘s latest script he is planning to direct. Lionsgate, who distributed Chazelle’s Oscar-winning La La Land, are considered the front runner.
The film is described as an original drama set in period Hollywood. Chazelle’s La La Land leading lady, Emma Stone, is circling to star. Rumours that the film is another musical are reportedly untrue, although the project is “a bold auteur piece with a significant budget”, and other studios are very interested.
It’s great news that an original film by a celebrated, fresh voice is garnering this kind of studio interest. In a contemporary Hollywood filled with franchises and sequels, it’s great to see big budget original films still having their moment. It’s no surprise, considering the success of La La Land, that studios are wrestling to land Chazelle’s next project.
It’s also great news because Chazelle’s last film, First Man, was a box office bomb. Despite being critically very well received, not making money is often a death sentence nowadays, and it wouldn’t have been surprising to hear that Chazelle was struggling to fund his next project. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, and Hollywood is all the better for it.
This is the second original, period Hollywood film to be in the works in a week. Last week, it was announced that David Fincher was teaming with Netflix for Mank, a biopic about Citizen Kane screenwriter and All About Eve director, Herman J. Mankiewicz. Perhaps mainstream original filmmaking is not quite circling the drain.