Damien Chazelle’s Babylon Was Seen As An ‘Impossible’ Movie By Its Producer [Exclusive]

According to Plouffe, the original idea for “Babylon” hadn’t changed very much since Chazelle first showed it to him over a decade ago. He said, “It was always this impossible. The thing about this movie, and part of why it took 13 years to get made, is that it was always sort of the impossible movie.”

Considering the size of some of the set pieces we see in the film, which runs over three hours, “Babylon” does seem like something a studio might balk at. Plouffe was thinking about it as he went to the carpet that evening. “I was driving here tonight thinking,” Plouffe recalled, “the number of times I thought, ‘We’ll never make ‘Babylon.’ What studio is going to step up and make this movie?'”

Even if they got someone on board for the project, it’s hard to imagine that a studio wouldn’t have suggested fewer practical effects, with the complexity of some of the shots and scenes that were lined up. Of course, Plouffe says that the idea was always to do it practically. He explains: 

“It was always so gigantic and over the top, and of course, we always wanted to shoot everything practically, and this movie has snakes and alligators and a battle scene with 700 extras. And all of it is practical, and that’s not really how movies get made.”

The snake scene, in particular (which has also been teased in the trailers), involved three different live snakes and an actor sucking honey (substituting for venom) out of another’s neck. And you thought your parties got weird!

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