Paramount Signs First-Look Producing and Directing Deal With Damien Chazelle and Olivia Hamilton’s Wild Chickens Productions

Margot Robbie plays Nellie LaRoy in Babylon from Paramount Pictures.
Scott Garfield

Paramount Pictures has signed a multi-year, first-look directing and producing deal with Damien Chazelle and Olivia Hamilton’s Wild Chickens Productions. The announcement comes just before the studio is set to release “Babylon,” a Dionysian epic set in the world of silent movies that Chazelle wrote and directed and Hamilton produced. “Babylon” opens on Dec. 23.

“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,” said Paramount Pictures President and CEO Brian Robbins. 

Chazelle is the Oscar-winning director of “La La Land” and also directed “Whiplash” and “First Man.” He made his first feature, “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” as an undergraduate student, and the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group co-presidents Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland added that the company is all-in on “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,” they said.

Paramount is on a commercial hot streak, having released blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick,” as well as hit films such as “The Lost City” and “Scream.”

“Babylon” is expected to be an awards season contender. It recently earned five Golden Globe nominations, including a nod for best picture – musical or comedy. The cast includes Diego Calva, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

The film 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 L.A. 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” and “First Man,” and plays the small, but vital role of a film director in “Babylon.” Chazelle and Hamilton are married.

“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,” said Chazelle and Hamilton.