Woody Allen sues Amazon for ending movie deal

Oscar Cross
February 8, 2019

In the lawsuit, Allen claims that Amazon backed out of the agreement after his daughter, Dylan Farrow, renewed longstanding accusations that Allen molested her as a child.

The suit alleges that Amazon has not made good on a contract to produce four movies with Allen.

In the interim, the suit claims Allen and his associates repeatedly informed the Amazon team that they were working to complete the project in anticipation of Amazon distributing the project; Allen also asserts he began working on his follow-up projects for the streaming giant, including securing work commitments from a "highly regarded cinematographer and a highly regarded production designer" for a project that then set to film in 2018.

In the lawsuit, Allen's team argues that the allegations were well known when Amazon entered into an agreement with the director and don't give Amazon a basis for terminating the contract.

The film, starring Timothee Chalamet and Selena Gomez, was expected to come out past year after filming wrapped in 2017, but was shelved after allegations of abuse reemerged from Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in the wake of the MeToo movement.

He claims Amazon's lawyers told him their deal now would be "impracticable" because of "supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way", according to the suit.

The star-studded Rainy Day, which also stars Elle Fanning and Oscar nominee Jude Law, was supposed to be Allen's follow-up. The following month, Amazon's general counsel, Ajay Patel, suggested pushing back the release of "A Rainy Day in New York" until 2019, and Allen agreed, according to the suit.

The continuing controversy over Allen's past apparently convinced Amazon to scrap the release of A Rainy Day in NY in any form, prompting Allen's breach of contract lawsuit, which was filed in a NY federal court. But the film was released with minimal fanfare in just a few hundred theaters-and earned less than $2 million, making it one of the lowest-grossing movies of Allen's career-and seemed to confirm that Allen's private-life troubles were proving a turn-off with moviegoers.

Allen's suit was filed in the Southern District of NY. Co-star Rebecca Hall made a pledge to do the same a year ago. It seeks $68 million in minimum guarantee payments for the four films Allen was set to release through Amazon.

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