Sunday, 20 October, 2019

Woody Allen sues Amazon over terminated movie deal

James Devaney  GC Images James Devaney GC Images
Lora Ball | 08 February, 2019, 01:15

Pressed to explain the termination, the studio said the deal was "impracticable" due to "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", Allen said in the lawsuit.

The director claims that Amazon had no "legal or factual basis" to terminate the agreement, and that they did so knowing it "would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen".

Woody Allen has sued Amazon Studios, saying he deserves at least $US68 million ($A96 million) in damages for its refusal to distribute his movie A Rainy Day in NY and its decision to abandon a four-picture production and distribution arrangement. 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.

Allen in June then made headlines when he declared that he should be a "poster boy" for the movement because he has a "wonderful record" with actresses.

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Allen's claim indicates Amazon executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman met with his representatives in the wake of Farrow's New York Times letter, feeling that Amazon's reputation had already been tarnished due to past associations with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and former Amazon Studios head Roy Price. In January 2018, the streamer's general counsel, Ajay Patel, proposed delaying the release of "A Rainy Day in New York" until 2019, which Allen accepted.

Amazon sought to capitalize on Allen's fame to develop its "nascent entertainment studio", according to the suit, with a deal to "finance and distribute his future films and to be his "home" for the rest of his career".

The second planned movie, A Rainy Day in NY, fared even worse, drawing controversy for the inclusion of a sex scene between a 44-year-old man (played by Jude Law) and 15-year-old girl (played by Elle Fanning), before cast members Rebecca Hall, Griffin Newman, and Timothée Chalame all distanced themselves from the project and donated their salaries to organizations such as Time's Up and RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). The suit was filed in the Southern District of NY.

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