Damien Chazelle, who became the youngest person to win the Best Director Oscar for La La Land, his love letter to Hollywood, is returning to Tinseltown for his next movie. Babylon will be a tale set in the film world in the late 1920s, as the industry transitions from silent features to sound. Brad Pitt and Emma Stone are still in talks to play the lead roles, and now the project has found a studio home at Paramount.
The story is said to be set in the late 1920s, during the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies. The rise and fall of fictional and historical characters figure into the proceedings. If deals are made, Stone would portray Clara Bow, the early sex symbol and box office star who was Hollywood’s first “It” girl. Pitt would play a fictional character, a silent film star who fails to make the transition to the new technology; sources say he is based on real-life figure John Gilbert.
Sounds a lot like The Artist, the 2011 film in which Berenice Bejo played the rising star and Jean Dujardin played the silent film star who is overshadowed during the transition. That movie won five total Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Actor, but the voting body of the Academy has changed a lot since 2011, so it remains to be seen whether another nostalgic throwback will land in the same way this time – especially only ten years removed from something with such distinctly similar subject matter.
Chazelle began shopping this around to studios last summer, and despite the pedigree of the project, most balked at his 180-page screenplay and a budget in the $80-$100 million range. His most recent film, First Man, didn’t exactly light up the box office, so there was some hesitation about another expensive period piece. But Chazelle reportedly reworked the script, removing about 30 pages and cutting down the budget in the process, giving Paramount enough confidence to give the movie a green light. This will be Chazelle’s first time working on a film with that studio, having made his previous films with companies like Summit/Lionsgate, Sony, and Universal.
Paramount is in talks to acquire Power to the People, a package that has George Tillman Jr committed to direct a period drama about the formation of the Black Panthers. Script is by Gregory Allen, who scripted the recent release Harriet about Harriet Tubman and the formation of the Underground Railroad, and Remember the Titans.
The film tells the story of the revolutionary relationship of Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, who founded the Black Panthers originally to protest police brutality against African Americans. It became a global movement and an important part of the civil rights movement. That put them in the crosshairs of FBI leader J Edgar Hoover and the U.S. government, which considered them a radical movement and deemed them the single greatest threat to the nation's security. Pic is based on the Stanley Nelson-directed documentary Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
Huey Newton, Bobby Seale
Tillman Jr, who last directed The Hate U Give, will produce with Ben Affleck. Madison Ainsley is exec producer and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni is associate producer. Nelson is expected to be involved in a producing capacity and Paramount's Bryan Oh will steer the project.
It becomes yet another intriguing period project for Paramount, which has been aggressive under Jim Gianopulos and production president Wyck Godfrey. On the period pic front, studio just acquired Babylon, the Damien Chazelle-directed period Hollywood drama that will star Emma Stone and Brad Pitt. That comes on the heels of a deal for The Bee Gees movie that Bohemian Rhapsody and The Two Popes scribe Anthony McCarten is writing for Paramount, Sister Amblin and GK Films. Before that, Paramount and Cross Creek teamed on Chicago 7, the Aaron Sorkin-directed drama with a strong cast that includes Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne, Frank Langella, Michael Keaton and Sacha Baron Cohen.
CAA and Gotham Group rep Tillman, latter of which also reps Howard along with attorney David Colden.
Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler have never appeared in a movie together this Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and That’s My Boy mashup is unfortunately ? not real, but they almost did. The Uncut Gems star was the original choice to play the Bear Jew in Inglourious Basterds, but he had to pass because he was busy shooting Funny People the part went to Eli Roth. The what-could-have-been was never discussed during Sandler and Pitt’s sit-down as part of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series, but we did learn that “Cliff Booth” has a favorite Sandman story, and it involves some very bad advice.
“This is my favorite Adam Sandler story that I heard from Bennett Miller,” Pitt told Sandler, referring to the director of Capote and Moneyball. “It was that you were at NYU, and it was an acting coach, I believe.” Sandler corrected him: “Acting professor.” Pitt continued, “And he said to you, ‘I want to take you out for a beer.’ This is what I’m told. You guys went to a bar, and he kindly said to you: ‘Think about something else. You have to choose another path.’ Truth?” Truth, Sandler confirmed, but Pitt wasn’t finished:
“There’s a second part to this story. This is why it’s my favorite Adam Sandler story, and I think it says a lot about you. That you ran into him at your , when you’re getting the ultimate payday, and you’re with a bunch of friends, out at a bar. Anyone would think that’s the opportunity where you rub it in his face. And reportedly, what you did was you introduced him to your friends, and you said: ‘This is the only teacher to ever buy me a beer.’ True? Via
Sandler could have taunted the guy who said he didn’t have the chops to make it as an actor. But he let it go. That, or he’s waiting until February 9, 2020, when he wins Best Actor at the Oscars, to let him have it. Sandler is the smartest man alive, after all.
Five years after the vast expansion of California's film and television tax incentive program was inked into law by then Governor Jerry Brown, big budgets, Oscar winners, remakes and rock bios dominated the 13 films that today were announced as the latest round of allocations.
Led by the $17.5 million awarded to the Silent Era set Damien Chazelle penned and directed and Brad Pitt circling Babylon, which Deadline exclusively reported Monday that Paramount has picked up, the flicks are expected to generate $376 million in qualified below-the-line and vendor spending. That also comes as the California Film Commission unveiled that the $1.1 billion rewarded in first four years of Program 2.0 has produced near on $8.4 billion in spending in the state — not a bad return on investment in the once assumed lost hopes of returning production to the home of Hollywood.
“I'm thrilled to be able to film Babylon here in California, with its rich landscapes and excellent crew members,” said Academy Award winner Chazelle Tuesday. “Thank you to the Film Commission for helping me bring this film to the big screen.”
As you can see from the chart below, Aaron Sorkin's Amazon Studios Untitled Lucy and Desi bio of trailblazers Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz with Cate Blanchett as the TV legend and the Eva Longoria directed and produced comedy 24/7 with Kerry Washington also did quite well during this round. As did the untiled high school drama from Paul Thomas Anderson and the Little Shop of Horrors remake produced by David Geffen and Marc Platt, with the latter believed to be aiming towards almost $60 million in in-state spending.
Producers and studios behind the 13 projects made public this morning were notified over the past few days that they were the successful ones among the 54 applications the CFC received during the October 7-11 time period for this allocation round. In a program almost entirely justified by the bottom line, the lucky 13 are projected to give jobs to around 1,960 crew, 698 cast and 26,119 background actors/stand-ins over a combined 587 filming days in the state.
Now much more competitive with the lucrative likes of Georgia, New York, the UK and Canadian provinces like British Columbia and Quebec, California's $330 million a year effort is set in stone to last until at least 2025. With films with budgets over $75 million eligible for the incentive program since 2014 and attracting over a dozen big budgeted movies to Cali in recent years, the Program 2.0 gain extra life thanks to an extension approved by Brown before leaving office earlier this year.
Up next for the CFC are the results of the just ended November 4 — 8 allocation period for TV projects, which is expected to be unveiled in mid-December. As for feature films, the next round runs from March 9 — 13 next year and will be announced on April 13, 2020.
Don't forget to submit those applications — worked out pretty well for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Midway.
The studio has also dated the 1920s Hollywood tale for the 2021 awards season.
Paramount has picked up Babylon, Damien Chazelle's drama set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Brad Pitt and Emma Stone are in talks to star in the project but no deals are set.
Marc Platt, who produced Chazelle's La La Land, is one of the producers on Babylon, as is Olivia Hamilton, Matthew Plouffe and Tobey Maguire.
The story is said to be set in the late 1920s, during the movie industry's transition from silent films to talkies. The rise and fall of fictional and historical characters figure into the proceedings.
If deals make, Stone will play Clara Bow, the early sex symbol and box office star who was Hollywood's first “it” girl.
Pitt would play a fictional character, a silent film star who fails to make the transition to the new technology. Sources say he is based on real-life figure John Gilbert.
Paramount's acquisition of Babylon has been a slow-cooking deal. Chazelle took his project to the studios and movie companies in June, and while there was immediate interest due to the pedigree, many had second thoughts to the script, which clocked in at a massive 180 pages, and a budget in the $80 million -$100 million range. A period drama from the filmmaker who was coming off of First Man, which engendered acclaim but was little seen, was deemed risky. Sources say Chazelle spent time reworking the draft and cut over 30 pages, thus reducing the budget.
Paramount is now all in on Babylon, setting a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release before expanding wide Jan. 7, 2022, giving this project awards playability.
Pitt, repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, is generating awards buzz for his work in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood.
Stone, repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Ziffren Brittenham, is on screens with Zombieland: Double Tap and is in production on Disney's Cruella.
Two sure-to-be-terrifying films have been set for release dates by Paramount Pictures. First: Paranormal Activity 7 which will probably end up with a title like Paranormal Activity: Ghost Zone or something dumb like that will haunt audiences in March of 2021. Then, scariest of all, a new My Little Pony movie spooooky! will arrive in September of 2021.
The Paranormal Activity franchise was a major moneymaker, but it’s been dormant since 2015’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Now, Paramount is gearing up to revive the ghostly franchise with a seventh film – and that film now has a release date. Paranormal Activity 7 will give us all the creeps on March 19, 2021. Why they’re releasing this in March and not, say, October is a mystery, but there you have it. No real details about the film are available at this time. We don’t know who’s directing it, and we don’t even know what the plot will be. Is this going to tie directly into the continuity of the original series, or be a whole new story? We’ll see.
The original franchise was almost an accident – the first film was ultra-low-budget, and most people had no idea what they were getting into. But the hype was real, and the success of the first Paranormal Activity helped create the horror powerhouse that is Blumhouse. Sequels were inevitable, and some of those sequels were pretty darn good. Eventually, though, the quality began to drop. Here’s hoping this new installment will help pick things back up again.
If Paranormal Activity isn’t to your liking, how about a My Little Pony movie? That’s happening, too. And it will trot into theaters September 24, 2021. There already was a My Little Pony: The Movie released in 2017, but much like the new Paranormal Activity film, details about this new incarnation are non-existent. Is this a sequel? A reboot? Beats me!
Other Paramount movies in 2021 include a Micronauts film, a new Dungeons and Dragons movie, and, most exciting of all, a new Mission: Impossible sequel, which is the only thing mentioned in this entire article that I have any interest in. That opens July 23, 2021.