Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are in talks to lead Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical, La La Land. The film centers on the love story between a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress. La La Land is Chazelle’s directorial follow up to Whiplash, which took home the 3 Oscars last year. We reported last summer that Chazelle would re-team with Whiplash star Miles Teller in the role of the pianist, but, per Deadline, Teller has moved on from the project. Likewise, Emma Watson, who was originally attached as the aspiring actress, has departed for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.
When Steve interviewed Chazelle last year, the director cited Singing in the Rain, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and A Star is Born as influences, and described La La Land as “an old fashioned song and dance”. Though the film is conceived in a retro vein, the story is set in contemporary times as a “a big, cinemascope love letter to Los Angeles” and a “kinetic portrait of the city”. Though no deals have been signed, Chazelle is looking to lock down his lead actors and begin production in the fall.
I am so crazy excited for this film. Whiplash was my favorite movie last year, and while Watson and Teller are talented, engaging actors, Gosling and Stone have an electric chemistry that’s hard to beat. The duo previously worked together in Crazy Stupid Love and The Gangster Squad, and their rapport was the highlight of both films. I also can’t wait to see what Chazelle does with the musical format. Whiplash was, in many ways, a musical that used rhythm instead of lyrics. The characters communicated and lived through the music, and the visceral response inspired by the film’s brilliant climax is carried by the vessel of song. Chazelle is a filmmaker who knows how to combine the arts of music and cinema.
What do you think of the casting switch-up? Which Emma is best for the part? Sound off below.