The first trailer for Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to Whiplash, La La Land, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, has hit the web – meaning we now have the first footage of this hotly anticipated project before its world premiere at the Venice film festival.
Soundtracked by Gosling crooning an original song, City of Stars, La La Land reveals itself as self-conscious homage to the traditional Hollywood musical and the city of Los Angeles itself – both referenced in the title. According to the Wrapback in 2014, the film “follows a pair of dreamers – aspiring actress Mia, who’s lonely and desperate to fit in, and cocky, charismatic jazz pianist Sebastian – who fall in love in Los Angeles”. Miles Teller (star of Whiplash) and Emma Watson were first mooted, but Gosling and Stone have ended up with the roles.
The trailer immediately recalls the high water marks of the homage-to-musicals genre: Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, Francis Ford Coppola’s One from the Heart and Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York, with its contemporary setting and explicitly artificial sets. La La Land also appears to thread in some of the more sinister elements of LA noir reminiscent of Mulholland Drive and LA Confidential.
La La Land is due for general release on 2 December in the US and 13 January in the UK.