Set in the late 1920s, Babylon is a Great Gatsby-meets-Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tale of the movie business and its transition from silent films to talkies. The official logline describes it as such: “A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.”
Though the majority of the characters in Babylon are fictional, they are based on real-life inspirations. The ensemble cast is led by Brad Pitt, whose movie star character Jack Conrad is based on the likes of John Gilbert, Clark Gable, and Douglas Fairbanks. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie plays an upstart actress named Nellie LaRoy, whose character is inspired by the original “It Girl” Clara Bow.
The all-star cast also includes Tobey Maguire, Li Jn Li, Jean Smart, Lukas Haas, Katherine Waterston, Max Minghella, Rory Scovel, Flea, Jeff Garlin, Samara Weaving, and Olivia Wilde. However, the film’s main protagonist is played by relative newcomer Diego Calva, whose role as a Mexican immigrant named Manny Torres serves as the “audience’s eyes in the world of Babylon” (via Vanity Fair).
Watch the film’s theatrical trailer, as well as an uncensored version, below.
Chazelle became a household name with his smash 2016 musical La La Land, which made the then-32-year-old filmmaker the youngest ever to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. More recently, he executive produced Netflix’s musical series The Eddy.