Damien Chazelle has no illusions about the hit that “Babylon” took on his career.

The “La La Land” Oscar winner wrote and directed the 2022 epic starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt. The feature flopped at the box office, grossing just $15 million domestically against an $80 million budget. The sprawling film received mixed reviews and was iced out of awards season.

Chazelle said during TCM’s “Talking Pictures” podcast (below) that while he is working on a new project, he worries it may not receive funding due to the commercial failure of “Babylon.”

“Certainly, in financial terms, ‘Babylon’ didn’t work at all,” Chazelle said. “You try to not have that effect what you’re doing creatively, but, at some level, it can’t help but affect it. But maybe that’s OK? I have a very mixed mind about it. Who knows. Maybe I won’t be able to get this one made. I have no idea. We’ll have to wait and see.”

He continued, “I’ve been head in the sand. I’ve been sort of busy writing. So I’ll get a real taste of how it’s changed or not [since ‘Babylon’] once I get to finish this script and try to actually get it made. I’m in a sort of trepidatious state of mind, but I have no illusions. I won’t get a budget of ‘Babylon’ size any time soon, or at least not on this next one.”

Chazelle previously told Insider that he was proud “Babylon” was the kind of film that “ruffled some feathers” and could “get some people mad.”

“It’s good to have something that stimulates conversation and debate and a lot of fierce opinions on either side,” Chazelle said at the time, admitting he opted to ignore reviews for the film. “More movies should do that.”

The filmmaker said during IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast that the making of “Babylon” vastly differed from his earlier works like “Whiplash” due to the “scale” of the production.

“I still find big movie stars intimidating on some fundamental level,” Chazelle said. “I’d say less so when you’re on the ground shooting — the intimidation is more early on when you’re having your first meetings and sussing out whether the relationship is going to work. There’s something about the elements when you get the camera rolling and you’re out in the dust and the dirt, there’s just something that never changes when it comes to that camera rolling and trying to get the shot with the actor, whoever that actor is. I compare the making of ‘Babylon’ to some of my first films, and it’s such a different scale… yet the fundamentals feel exactly the same.”

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