DEADLINE –  Several studios are lining up for Babylon, a script that Damien Chazelle has written to direct as his next film. I’m told that Lionsgate, which distributed the 14 Oscar-nominated La La Land, is considered the front-runner to land a project described to me as an original drama that is set in period Hollywood at a shifting moment when the business was turning from silents to talkies. Emma Stone, who along with Chazelle won an Oscar for her work in La La Land, is circling to star. Sources said the film is a bold auteur piece with a significant budget and that other studios are in the mix. Brad Pitt also is circling Babylon, though neither he nor Stone has made a commitment. Babylon is a drama that mixes real and fictional characters and is solidly in the R-rated category.

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