Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is one of the biggest box office bombs of the year, opening to just $5.3 million over the four-day Christmas weekend despite a production budget north of $80 million. Many box office pundits have cited the film’s gargantuan 189-minute runtime as one reason the Hollywood epic failed to connect with audiences. “Babylon” clocks in at three hours and nine minutes long, but it turns out Chazelle has a far shorter and far scrappier version of the film on his iPhone.
During a recent Los Angeles Q&A for the movie (via Entertainment Weekly), Chazelle revealed that he prepared for “Babylon” by filming a two-hour cut of the movie in his backyard. The “La La Land” Oscar winner shot the project on his iPhone. This two-hour version of “Babylon” only starred two actors: Diego Calva, who plays assistant-turned-producer Manny Torres in the film, and Olivia Hamilton, who stars as director Ruth Adler and also happens to be Chazelle’s wife.