In Summer 2019, writer-director Damien Chazelle took a draft of the film's script to the major studios. There was immediate buzz due to the script's quality, which actor Brad Pitt later praised as "really, really good". However, several executives reportedly hesitated due to a projected budget in the $80-$100 million range. Consequently, Chazelle spent time reworking the script to reduce the budget. Soon after, a bidding war erupted between Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate Entertainment to land the film's worldwide distribution rights. Paramount triumphed in the end.