“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle is taking his penchant for musicals to TV.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chazelle is attached to a project called “The Eddy,” intended for cable or streaming TV. The show, set in modern-day Paris and scripted by Jack Thorne (who co-wrote the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”), is a musical drama about the owner of a club and its band.
Chazelle, 32, who grew up in Princeton, became the youngest person to win the Oscar for best director for “La La Land” when he triumphed in February, before the movie musical famously lost best picture to “Moonlight” in an onstage mixup.
While “La La Land” was a candy-colored ode to Los Angeles (and, it turns out, very bankable, grossing $151 million domestically), the Parisian setting seems to jibe with Chazelle’s interests. The director’s father, Princeton University computer science professor Bernard Chazelle, hails from France, and Damien found inspiration in French New Wave film and Jacques Demy’s 1964 musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.”
Chazelle, a former jazz drummer at Princeton High School, incorporated the musical genre in his 2014 film “Whiplash” and in “La La Land,” by way of the character Sebastian, a jazz pianist who dreams of opening a jazz club in Los Angeles.
Other current TV series with a musical component include the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and Netflix’s “The Get Down.”
In the days before his Oscar win, Chazelle told NJ Advance Media that prior to “La La Land,” he had written a musical set in New Jersey, about “the relationship between people in Newark and people in New York. Sort of the city-across-the-river thing.”
In making a move to TV, Chazelle follows in the footsteps of many A-list actors and directors, including, most recently, fellow best director nominee Barry Jenkins, who after the “Moonlight” win, went on to adapt the novel “Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead into a series for Amazon.
Chazelle, who has reunited with “La La Land” lead Ryan Gosling to direct him in the Neil Armstrong film “First Man,” received his first Oscar nomination (best adapted screenplay) in 2015 for “Whiplash.” His script for “The Claim,” a mystery, was also picked up recently and is set to be released in 2018.