Paramount Pictures has entered a multi-year, first look directing and producing deal with Damien Chazelle and Olivia Hamilton’s Wild Chickens Productions, the studio announced Tuesday.
The studio most recently partnered with Chazelle and Hamilton on “Babylon,” which earned five Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture, and releases wide theatrically on December 23rd.
“Damien is one of the rare auteur filmmakers making an indelible mark on the theatrical landscape, and it’s a testament to this studio’s best-in-class production, marketing and distribution teams that he and his producing partner, Olivia, have decided to make Paramount Pictures their creative home,” Paramount Pictures President and CEO Brian Robbins said in a statement.
Added Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group Co-Presidents Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland, “We are already full speed ahead on this collaboration with the upcoming release of Babylon, which really showcases just why we’re in the Damien and Olivia business. Their brilliance and originality embody Paramount’s long legacy of bold and fearless filmmaking, and we couldn’t be more grateful that they’ve chosen us as partners in bringing daring, cinematic stories to audiences everywhere.”
“We are honored to join the Paramount family. We are grateful to Brian, Michael and Daria and everyone at Paramount for believing in us, the value of original storytelling and the theatrical experience,” Chazelle and Hamilton said.
Chazelle most recently wrote and directed “Babylon,” an original epic set in 1920s Los Angeles led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Diego Calva, with an ensemble cast including Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li. The film was produced by Hamilton with Marc Platt and Matthew Plouffe.
Prior to that, he directed “First Man.” The story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon garnered four Oscar nominations, winning Best Achievement in Visual Effects. He previously wrote and directed the modern musical “La La Land,” which earned 14 Oscar nominations, winning six awards, including Best Director for Chazelle, who is the youngest director to receive the award.
His 2014 film, “Whiplash” received five Academy Award nominations and three wins, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons.
“Babylon” marks Hamilton’s first feature producing credit. Previously, she produced, wrote, directed, and starred in the film “Surrogate,” which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Hamilton also ran the LA theatre group PLAY, which she founded in 2013 and for which she served as creative director. She previously appeared in “Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” “First Man,” and “The Last Tycoon,” and plays film director Ruth Adler in “Babylon.”