LOS ANGELES: Cinephiles in the US are going to have a gala time at the movie during Christmas time. Filmmaker Damien Chazelle's Hollywood epic 'Babylon', which stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie as leads, has set its US release date on December 23.
Paramount initially planned to debut the movie in select theatres on December 25 before expanding it nationwide on January 6. Sources close to 'Babylon' suggest the earlier release date points to the studio's confidence in the film, which carries a $78 million production budget, reports 'Variety'.
The news comes the day after Sony amended release plans for the Tom Hanks-starrer 'A Man Called Otto', which was supposed to drop in theatres nationwide on December 14 and will now open in select theatres on December 25 before expanding nationwide on January 13.
On its new nationwide release date, 'Babylon' is playing on the big screen alongside 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' and Whitney Houston biopic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'. James Cameron's highly-anticipated 'Avatar' sequel, which opens on December 16, is also expected to loom large at multiplexes during the holidays.
Set in the late 1920s, 'Babylon' puts the spotlight on Brad Pitt, who plays a bona fide leading man, and Margot Robbie, who portrays an up-and-coming starlet, against the backdrop of an entertainment business in flux.
Chazelle previously revealed that 'Babylon' is inspired by films like Federico Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', Robert Altman's 'Nashville' and 'The Godfather' � "old-school epics that managed, through a handful of characters, to convey a society changing."
Along with Robbie and Pitt, the cast includes Diego Calva, Tobey Maguire, Max Minghella, Spike Jonze, Jean Smart, Flea, Samara Weaving, Olivia Wilde, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li.