The trailer for Damien Chazelle’s new film Babylon opens with the sound of the Margot Robbie character snorting cocaine. Not long after, a tap-dancing Brad Pitt falls off a balcony.
“If you could go anywhere in the whole world, where would you go?” Robbie’s character asks Diego Calva’s, in between snorts.
“I always wanted to be part of something bigger,” Calva’s character replies.
Babylon takes place in 1920s Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies. Robbie’s hard-partying character is joined by Calva and Pitt in an ensemble cast that also includes Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, and Li Jun Li. (You can watch the Babylon trailer above or here.)
“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,” reads the film’s official description from Paramount Pictures UK.
IndieWirereports that the trailer for Babylon was such a hit when it played for audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival that Chazelle, also the director of La La Land and Whiplash, played it twice.
“It’s written in the stars. I am a star,” Robbie’s character says in the trailer, adding that she just wants “everyone to party forever,” and that if she had money, she would only spend it on “things that are fun” and definitely not on “boring things, like taxes.”
Full of jazz music, pool parties, and snakes, the trailer also features the song “Voodoo Mama” from Academy Award-winning composer Justin Hurwitz, who collaborated with Chazelle on La La Land, Whiplash and First Man.
“The high points of the silent era are some of the high points of cinema, period,” Chazelle told the TIFF audience, according to IndieWire. “That led me to look at movies that captured the idea of whole societies in transition… It was my first time doing a real ensemble, panoramic movie. I was trying to look at novels and movies, like certain Fellini pictures like ‘La Dolce Vita,’ Altman movies like ‘Nashville,’ the ‘Godfather’ pictures. These old-school epics that manage through a handful of characters to convey a sense of an entire society evolving and changing, so that by the end of the movie you’re in a completely different world.”
Babylon is scheduled for a Christmas Day release.
Main Image: Brad Pitt in Babylon