Damien Chazelle wants Miles Teller & Emma Watson for Musical La La Land
Just four months after Damien Chazelle's WHIPLASH took home the top prize at Sundance (read Chris Bumbray's praising review) the director is already thinking about his next project, the musical LA LA LAND. WHIPLASH star Miles Teller is in early talks to reteam with the writer-director on the musical with Emma Watson in talks for the female lead.
The synopsis reads:
La La Land follows an aspiring actress Mia, who's lonely desperate to fit in, and cocky yet charismatic jazz pianist Sebastian — who fall in love in Los Angeles. However, the city that brought them together may tear them apart, as they soon discover that balancing love and art in such a cutthroat climate isn't easy.
TheWrap got a hold of Chazelle's "lookbook" for LA LA LAND which helps describe the story, characters, look and tone of the film. Normally I would expect these to sound pretty boring but this one jumps out a little more; you can tell Chazelle is very passionate about the project.
“I'd like to make a contemporary musical about L.A., starting with the L.A. we know but slowly building to a vision of the city as romantic metropolis–one that is actually worthy of the dreams it inspires. I'd like to make a musical about the way L.A.'s peculiar rhythms can push its residents to the edge of their emotions–be they hope, desperation or love. Think the kind of teetering-toward-madness you see in “The Graduate” or “Boogie Nights”, and imagine if you were to push that further. In this case, the city pushes its residents all the way: it pushes them into song.
The characters of this movie are just people trying to make it. One thing most movies about struggling L.A. actors and musicians miss is the poetry of their struggle: these are blue-collar folks working day in and day out to make something happen. What I'm interested in is pitting their yearnings and their ambitions against the musical genre. After all, musicals are all about the push-and-pull between reality and fantasy; the heroes of this film, because of their big dreams, are constantly poised on that edge.
At its core, this is a movie about artists in love–and what it means to be an artist in love in arguably the most competitive city on the planet. How do you juggle the need to find success as an artist with the need to share oneself with another human being? And how do you do so in a place where every poster, every street corner and every sign remind you of the glories just beyond reach? L.A. is the “Dream Factory”, and to me there's something swooningly romantic about that: all those unsung songs and unrealized ideas clouding the air. By casting an affectionate eye on a pair of young hopefuls, while aspiring to the kind of full-fledged romanticism you hardly ever see in today's movies, I hope to capture the spirit of the city I now call home, and make a movie that feels both classical and urgent–and, yes, intrinsically L.A."
The big take away here for me is Miles Teller; he's quickly become one of my favorite actors and it's great to see him land all these exciting roles. LA LA LAND, a song-and-dance romance, definitely sounds like something to he can manage to make cool. I thought he was great in RABBIT HOLE but his turn in THE SPECTACULAR NOW solidified him as a great actor to watch out for. Let's not forget the always adorable and charming Emma Watson; if you saw THE BLING RING, then you saw her pole dancing. Now I don't expect this movie to feature any of that, but she's talented nonetheless.