Woody Allen has filed a lawsuit against Amazon Studios, accusing the online giant of a “breach of contract”.
Amazon and Allen entered into a production and distribution agreement in 2017 that covered four films, following Amazon Studios’ decision to release two Allen films, Cafe Society and Wonder Wheel, and commission a TV series, Crisis in Six Scenes. Allen’s lawsuit, though, accuses the company of backing out of the deals, including a refusal to distribute his latest, A Rainy Day in New York, with “any legal or factual basis” for doing so.
The 83-year-old director is seeking $68 million in damages from the online company, the lawsuit, filed on Thursday in New York, announced. The lawsuit (via Deadline) says that Amazon Studios executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman met with representatives of Allen in December 2017 and “discussed the negative publicity and reputational harm Amazon Studios had received because of allegations made against its former
President, Mr. Price, and its association with Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company”, before allegedly agreeing that A Rainy Day in New York would be pushed back for a 2019 release.
Since then, the lawsuit says that Amazon informed Allen that it would not release the film and would be backing out of its deal to produce three further projects.
“Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen,” claims the lawsuit. “And, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract.”
The accusation referred to is that Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992. Allen has long denied this accusation. In recent years, a number of actors who have previously worked with him have expressed their regret for doing so and said that they would not work with him again.
Jude Law, who was one of the cast members in A Rainy Day… said “I’d have to consider carefully” before working with Allen again in an interview with the NY Times. Timothée Chalamet, another star of the film, announced that he would give his salary from the project to charity.