Allen v. Amazon
Woody Allen is taking Amazon to court.
The director has launched a breach of contract suit against Amazon Studios, alleging the company improperly terminated a film deal with him over "a 25-year old, baseless allegation," Variety reports. Amazon in 2016 signed a five-picture agreement with Allen, Mashable reports, the first of those five movies being Wonder Wheel, which was released in 2017 and starred Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.
The next film in the deal was to be A Rainy Day in New York, starring Selena Gomez, Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Jude Law, and Rebecca Hall. The film was shot in 2017, but its future became uncertain after the #MeToo movement gripped Hollywood. Allen had previously been accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow; he has denied the allegation and has never been charged. In early 2018, several of the stars of A Rainy Day in New Work released statements saying they regret working with Allen and would donate their salaries to charity, and Page Six reported in August that Amazon Studios might not release the film at all.
This lawsuit confirms that, with Allen saying that Amazon is refusing to release the film in theaters as was agreed to and moved to terminate his deal in June 2018. The complaint says that Amazon already knew about the allegation against Allen before signing the agreement deal but that "in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract," per The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally, it claims that executives at Amazon met with Allen in early 2018 and agreed they would release A Rainy Day in New York but simply wait until 2019 to do so. Allen is seeking $68 million from Amazon, which has not yet responded to the lawsuit.