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Damien Chazelle Set To Direct Prison Film For Paramount — Releasing 2025

As a follow up to my theory that Damien Chazelle was in director’s jail in an older article, it seems like he has broken out of his cell (or even may not have been in a cell from the beginning), with the announcement that he’s now directing a film set in a prison.

Damien Chazelle Set To Direct Prison Film, Releasing 2025
Damien Chazelle at Venice Film Festival / Image Courtesy of Vittorio Zunino Celotto via Getty Images

On April 11th, It was announced in the Paramount Pictures panel at CinemaCon 2024 that Damien Chazelle would be back to direct his sixth feature after Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Whiplash, La La Land, First Man and Babylon, set to release in 2025. He’ll also be writing and producing along with his partner Olivia Hamilton through their production company, Wild Chickens. This is after he signed a producing deal with Paramount at the end of 2022 following the release of Babylon

Damien and Olivia will also be producing David Ayer’s next film, Heart of the Beast, which follows a former Navy SEAL and his retired combat dog who attempt to return civilization after a catastrophic accident deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Although it’s unconfirmed, insiders say that his next film will be set in a prison as reported by Deadline. Fortunately, we were wrong about Damien being in director’s jail in our previous article which was titled The Babylon of Director’s Jail.

Currently, it’s unknown who will be starring in Damien’s next film and whether it’ll be focused on 2 leads or will have a big stellar cast, It’s very likely that he’ll be reuniting with some of his previous smaller co-stars such as Diego Calva, Jovan Adepo, and Li Jun Li. It’s also possible that he’ll be wanting to work with any of the following A-listers again: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Miles Teller, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Tobey Maguire.

Damien Chazelle Set To Direct Prison Film, Releasing 2025
Brad Pitt, Damien Chazelle, Diego Calva, and Margot Robbie at Babylon Premiere / Image Courtesy of Jesse Grant via Getty Images

Gosling starred in two Chazelle films previously (La La Land and First Man), which shows an increased likelihood of him being in talks which hopefully isn’t too far out of reach. Stone was also the other lead in La La Land and she was supposed to play the role of Nellie LaRoy who, in a previous Babylon draft was called Clara Bow but, unfortunately, she dropped out of the role due to scheduling issues only for the role to go to Margot Robbie and subsequently be rewritten to be slightly more fictional.

Recently on the 24th of March, Damien Chazelle hosted a 35mm special screening of Federico Fellini’s La Strada at American Cinematheque, La Strada is about a young, poor and naive woman who is forced to work with a brutish circus man as they go through adventures together on the Italian countryside.

Damien is evidently a huge believer in taking pre-existing films and adding his own spin to them which could be interpreted as him considering originality overrated in a way, good examples of this are The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and La La Land & Singin’ in the Rain and Babylon. So it’s intriguing whether he’ll add his own spin on La Strada for his next film or not, especially since it could be a film about a mental prison rather than a physical one.

Damien Chazelle Set To Direct Prison Film, Releasing 2025
La Strada / Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“It involved a jailbreak and a prison sort of thing, and the main character was an autistic suicidal depressive. But somehow they went into a planetarium and flew up to space.” – Damien Chazelle

Damien quoted this when he was discussing the first pitch of La La Land. And, as you can see, La Strada is more about mental prison than physical prison, being trapped with someone mentally and stuck with him instead of being behind bars.

Hopefully, we get to see casting news soon for Damien’s next film which will be releasing in 2025. If anything, 2025 will be a very loaded year for film and cinema, regardless of taste. And it seems like he’ll be having competition with a lot of great filmmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, James Cameron, Jordan Peele and possibly even Quentin Tarantino.

Damien Chazelle Set To Direct Prison Film, Releasing 2025
Damien Chazelle on the set of Babylon / Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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Mohaned is an Egyptian aspiring filmmaker who writes articles about movies he's enthusiastic about. He currently helps coordinate the Twitter / X content for Feature First.