If you’ve followed Amazon’s history, you now that they aren’t a company to take things lying down. But then again neither is Woody Allen. The film star recently filed a $68 million lawsuit in New York claiming that Amazon studios scrapped its four-film deal and is actively blocking the director’s artistic efforts. However, Amazon has filed a counter suit saying Allen sabotaged his own movies’ success with controversial comments about the MeToo movement and sex abuse allegations against him. In the lawsuit, Amazon wrote Allen’s statements came out just as Amazon and Allen were preparing to promote Allen’s latest film Wonder Wheel, effectively sabotaging those efforts. Wonder Wheel is about four peoples’ lives which intertwine amid Coney Island’s heyday and stars Kate Winslet.
Woody Allen has long been the subject of sexual misconduct rumours; but none of these rumours have ever been proven in court. The response from the film industry, however, has been damning with many actors expressing regret for having worked with Allen and many declared publicly that they would never work with him again. These actors include Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire, who worked with the director in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, and Colin Firth who stared in Magic in the Moonlight also directed by Woody Allen.
Amazon studios has said Allen would not rescind some of his most problematic public statements he had made. What the verdict will be, is anyone’s guess as Amazon’s new court motion is only seeking to dismiss four of the eight claims in Allen’s suit. Amazon also cites Allen’s response to accusations of sexual assault by his daughter Dylan Farrow, which he denied.
The streaming giant confirmed that after post-production work on Allen’s yet-to-be-released A Rainy Day in New York was completed in 2018, they terminated their agreement with the film-maker and were thinking about cancelling the release of the film. A Rainy Day in New York, his third for Amazon.
Amazon’s entry into the world of filmmaking began in earnest less than three years ago, when the company announced in 2015 that it had acquired a Spike Lee firm to be the first Amazon Original Movie. Quickly enough, Amazon Studios pursued a strategy of tapping established indie filmmakers who had risen to fame in the to make their passion projects that other, more established film studios had a hard time justifying financially.
Allen previously released his movies through the arthouse Sony Pictures Classics for many years. But in 2016, Amazon managed to pry the Oscar-winner director away with a lavish $20 million offer to distribute Allen’s upcoming film Café Society, a period film set in 1930s Hollywood. At the time, the deal was seen as a way for Amazon to make a huge splash for the online streaming-focused company, which needed to lay out large cash offers to compete with more traditional studios and attract big-name artists
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