Woody Allen and Amazon have reached an undisclosed, out-of-court settlement in the writer-director’s charge that the studio was in breach of his four picture deal contract, according to Variety. Allen, who turns 84 next month, was suing for $68 million in minimum payment guarantees.
Amazon was set to distribute his latest film, A Rainy Day In New York, as well as produce three additional Allen films, but did an about face in the wake of the #MeToo movement. For decades Dylan Farrow has accused Allen of sexually assaulting her when she was seven years old. Allen has always denied these charges, which Connecticut prosecutors in 1993 declined to prosecute.
The longtime and very public nature of the case, which dovetailed with Allen’s breakup with on-screen collaborator Mia Farrow and Allen’s subsequent romance with Farrow’s adopted teen daughter Soon-Yi Previn, was part of Allen’s claim. Amazon countered that the resurgence of awareness in the wake of #MeToo, plus the declarations from many bankable Hollywood actors that they would refuse job offers from Allen, meant the financial security of their investment in him had been altered.
Amazon first linked up with Allen in January 2015, giving him carte blanche (and a reported $80 million) to create a TV show. At the time this was considered a prestige win for the newly launched Amazon Prime Video, as Allen, perceived as a film purist, had never made a series before. Playing up his luddite schtick, Allen gave interviews in which he confessed to not understanding what a streaming service was, or how he would ever watch it. The resultant work, Crisis in Six Scenes, co-starring Miley Cyrus, Elaine May and Rachel Brosnahan was received in September 2016 to an extremely muted response.
A Rainy Day in New York, which stars Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law has been released in many non-English European markets, not through Amazon. It has a cumulative box office thus far of $11.5 million dollars. Allen recently wrapped production on Rifkin’s Festival, financed by a Spanish company and set at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It stars Gina Gershon, Christoph Waltz, Wallace Shawn, and Louis Garrel. Three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro is the director of photographer. It remains unclear if either film will ever be distributed in the United States.