Woody Allen filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios on Thursday.
The suit alleges that Amazon has not made good on a contract to produce four movies with Allen.
The filmmaker claims through the lawsuit that the studios backed out of financing the projects due to renewed interest in “a 25-year-old, baseless allegation.”
The allegation against Allen is from Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow. Farrow has claimed on numerous occasions that Allen sexually abused her as a child. Allen has denied these allegations.
Amazon has a contract with Allen to produce and release four of his movies. The first movie in the deal, “A Rainy Day in New York,” has been completed for over six months — but Amazon has been hesitant to release it.
“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 — and, in any event, it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract,” Allen’s suit states.
“There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
The suit claims that Amazon executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman met with Allen’s representatives at the end of 2017 when the #MeToo movement was getting more and more attention.
Allegations against Allen were discussed and it was agreed that “A Rainy Day in New York” would be delayed until 2019.
The suit also claims Amazon Studios’ general counsel, Ajay Patel, sent an email in the summer of 2018 discontinuing Amazon’s relationship with Allen — but it did not provide a valid reason for why.
Before the four-film contract, Amazon had produced three projects by Allen, a miniseries called “Crisis in Six Scenes” and the films “Cafe Society” and “Wonder Wheel.”
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Allen’s suit was filed in the Southern District of New York. It seeks $68 million in minimum guarantee payments for the four films Allen was set to release through Amazon.
He is also seeking damages and lawyer fees.
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