After Babylon flopped at the box office, Damien Chazelle isn’t sure his next film will be financed

Babylon director Damien Chazelle knows that he may never be trusted with an enormous budget again after the film’s flop.

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Chazelle Babylon

As Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to First Man and short-lived Best Picture winner La La Land, buzz was loud over Babylon. With a cast of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, a story centering around the dawn of Hollywood’s sound age and a budget north of $80 million, it had everything going for it. And then it made just over $3.5 million on opening weekend, killing both the movie and showing that its wunderkind director – who was the youngest Best Director winner ever at 32 – was fallible. Now, as he works on his next project, Chazelle has a realistic perspective that it will be a long time before he’s trusted with so much money.

Speaking on TCM’s Talking Pictures podcast (which launched just this year and is essential for movie fans, by the way), Chazelle said he’s staying active post-Babylon but may have to scale down this production. “I’ve been head in the sand. I’ve been sort of busy writing. So I’ll get a real taste of how it’s changed or not [since Babylon] once I get to finish this script and try to actually get it made. I’m in a sort of trepidatious state of mind, but I have no illusions. I won’t get a budget of Babylon size any time soon, or at least not on this next one.”

Chazelle also noted how the reception of Babylon works its way into his future endeavors, saying, “Certainly, in financial terms, Babylon didn’t work at all…You try to not have that effect [on] what you’re doing creatively, but, at some level, it can’t help but affect it. But maybe that’s OK? I have a very mixed mind about it. Who knows. Maybe I won’t be able to get this one made. I have no idea. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Not that even his two cents could possibly help recoup Babylon’s financial losses – it ended its run with just $15 million domestically – but writer Stephen King thinks it will be a bonafide classic in another 20 years. That may or may not be the case, but I hope it gets the recognition it deserves as a whirlwind of a motion picture that threw it all – from elephant poop to buffet-induced vomit – on the screen. And this didn’t land with audiences? OK, maybe Chazelle could afford to rope it in from his days of Babylon.

Were you a fan of Damien Chazelle’s Babylon? What do you want the director to tackle next? Let us know below!

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.