Woody Allen sues Amazon over cancelled film contract
Actor-director Woody Allen, who is known for movies like Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris and To Rome with Love among others, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for cancelling his film contract and refusing to release his films over baseless allegations spanning back to over two decades.
Allen first started working with Amazon Studios after the company purchased rights to his movie Cafe Society in 2016 following which the company produced his next Wonder Wheel in 2017. After Wonder Wheel, Amazon Studios signed a deal with Allen's production house for four more movie. However, Amazon backed out of the deal in June 2018.
According to the lawsuit filed by the Hollywood director, Amazon terminated the multi-movie contract with Allen "without giving any legal basis for doing so."
"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," the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit also claims that Amazon Studios executives met representatives of Allen and his production house, Gravier, wherein they discussed the negative that Amazon Studios was enduring owing to allegations made against the production house's former President, Roy Price, and its association with Harvey Weinstein. Later, Allen and Gravier, decided to push back the release date of the movie-- A Rainy Day in New York-- to 2019.
However, in June 2018 when the post-production work of the movie had been completed, Amazon Studios terminated the contract with Allen and his production house saying, "Amazon does not intend to distribute or otherwise exploit the Pictures in any domestic or international territories." The lawsuit claims that Amazon Studios "did not provide any legal or factual basis for the Termination Notice."
The lawsuit filed by Allen further claims that after the termination notice, Allen and his production house repeatedly requested Amazon Studios to give "identify the basis for the purported termination, along with anyterm..that could giveAmazon Content the right to terminate". However, Amazon did not acknowlege the same. "In short, after Defendants used Mr. Allen to promote and build Amazon Studios' standingas a full-fledged film studio, theydiscarded him, repudiatedthe Allen Film Agreements, and refused to honor their commitments to him or Gravier," the lawsuit claimed.