Amazon Is Trying To Get Out Of The Woody Allen Business
As the Me Too movement gained momentum last fall, alleged child molester Woody Allen was shooting another movie about the romantic relationship between a grown man and a much, much younger woman. A Rainy Day in New York stars Jude Law and Elle Fanning, but may never see the light of day and could prove an anti-climactic end to Allen’s career.
A Rainy Day In New York was the latest Allen film produced by Amazon Studios, which produced his Kate Winslet vehicle Wonder Wheel. But as the Me Too movement gained momentum, several of the film’s stars made public apologies for working with Allen, who allegedly molested his daughter Dylan Farrow. Griffin Newman, Rebecca Hall, and Timothée Chalamet also donated their A Rainy Day In New York paychecks to charities including RAINN, Time’s Up, and the LGBT Center in New York. This suggested the press tour for the film would be a total nightmare, and rumors spread that Amazon might shelve the project or quietly dump it on Amazon Prime without fanfare.
Eight months later, Page Six reports Amazon has no plans to release the $25 million movie. Page Six has previously reported Allen is struggling to cast his next feature, which was intended for a 2019 release. That untitled film would have been the third in a five-picture deal Amazon made with Allen. Now, Amazon just wants out.
Consequence of Sound reports Amazon is trying to pay Allen off so they can kill the contract and any hope of A Rainy Day getting a release. If Allen won’t take the payoff, his latest film may still see release. It’s unclear how long Amazon can stall.
For Amazon, the deal with Allen means untold losses. Wonder Wheel, their first collaboration with Allen, was a box office bomb, making a paltry $15 million. It failed to gain any award season traction, despite having Winslet as its leading lady. Though she did win the dubious distinction of Actress Most in Need of a New Agent from Alliance of Women Film Journalists. If Amazon dumps A Rainy Day In New York, that’s another $25 million loss. And it’s unknown how much they may have to pay Allen to just piss off.
It’s almost good news that Amazon will literally have to pay for their bad choice to do business with an alleged abuser who seemingly built a career on romanticizing his apparent attraction to underage girls. But then we remember that Allen will not face justice or even his daughter’s accusations head-on. He’ll continue to hide behind his PR reps, duck all but the friendliest of press, and live in wealth and privilege. He just may not get to be fawned over quite as much and may not get to make another movie. He’ll be fine. They always are. But maybe just maybe other studios will observe Amazon’s losses, and learn a lesson about the financial costs of working with alleged abusers. Because, sadly, the human costs don’t seem to make it into their ledgers.
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