Damien Chazelle Teases Big, Boisterous, Loud Hollywood Epic Babylon With Wild, Cocaine-Fueled Trailer

Damien Chazelle was itching for a change of pace.

“After the quietness of ‘First Man,’” he says, referring to his 2018 astronaut drama, much of which unfolded in deep space, “I wanted to do something big, boisterous and loud.”

The result is “Babylon,” a star-studded homage to Hollywood’s silent era, a movie that captures “humanity at its most glamorous and animalistic,” the director teases. “It’s a mostly fictional film.”

Chazelle brought a never-before-seen trailer to the Toronto Film Festival, where he spoke at length about his career — namely “Whiplash” and “La La Land” — in a keynote conversation with CEO Cameron Bailey. The Oscar-winning filmmaker is still in post-production on “Babylon,” which opens in theaters on Dec. 25. “I’ll be very happy to finally finish it.”

Set in the late 1920s at the twilight of the silent era, “Babylon” puts the spotlight on Brad Pitt as a bonafide film star and Margot Robbie as a Roaring Twenties icon against the backdrop of an entertainment business in flux.

“They are building a city from scratch and an industry from scratch,” Chazelle hints. “It was about capturing the spirit of that time, which I’d say was a lot more wild west.” In effect, that means “excess, more drugs, more extreme living on all ends of the spectrum.”

Along with Robbie and Pitt, the starry cast includes Tobey Maguire, Max Minghella, Spike Jonze, Jean Smart, Flea, Samara Weaving and Olivia Wilde.

“‘Babylon was the biggest cast, the biggest number of roles I’ve ever juggled, by far,” Chazelle said. “The casting process took a long time.”

Though the film is fictional, the characters were “inspired by composites of real-life people.”

“I was getting inspiration from real life sources, but you’re looking for people to surprise you,” Chazelle said, alluding to the casting process. “That was the guiding principle.”

Based on the trailer, “Babylon” plays like an over-the-top mashup of Baz Luhrmann’s opulent “The Great Gatsby” and Quentin Tarantino’s pulpy “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The loud, dazzling trailer veers into NSFW territory, chock full of cocaine and topless women. At one point, Robbie’s character commands center stage at a pool party by yelling, “Listen up all you big dick men… who wants to see me fight a fucking snake?”

Pitt’s character pauses before shouting, “Fuck, yeah!”

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