Woody Allen sues Amazon for $68m for breach of contract

Woody Allen sues Amazon says studio reneged on film deals

Filmmaker Woody Allen is suing Amazon for at least $68 million, saying that the company ended a four-picture movie deal a year ago after old accusations against him resurfaced in the press.

In the lawsuit, Allen's team argues that the allegations were well known when Amazon entered into an agreement with the director and don't give Amazon a basis for terminating the contract.

Based on that conversation, Allen says that he finished A Rainy Day in NY and then started production on other projects because, as he claims to have understood, Amazon was simply pushing the film's release date. In 2014, adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow wrote a New York Times essay accusing Allen of sexually abusing her as a minor.

Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios over his unreleased movie, A Rainy Day in NY.

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But a few months later, as the #MeToo movement was taking off, Amazon Studio executives met with Allen's reps and discussed the "negative publicity and reputational harm" the company had received over its association with pervy producer Harvey Weinstein and its former head Roy Price, who'd just resigned over sexual harassment allegations - then asked to "push back" the A Rainy Day in NY release to 2019.

Allen says Amazon sought to terminate the deal in June, and has since refused to pay him $9 million in financing for his latest film, "A Rainy Day in NY", his lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan allege.

Weinstein has denied allegations by more than 70 women of sexual misconduct.

The suit claims Amazon did not have a right to back out of the deal and is seeking $68 million in damages.

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The studio agreed to pay at least $9 million ($A12.67 million) for the license to his Timothée Chalamet-starring A Rainy Day in NY and his following flick, and then $25 million ($A35.193 million) and $27.5 million ($A38.7 million) for the two after that, and to release them all on at least 500 screens for at least 90 days, the suit says.

A little over a year ago in January of 2018, Ajay Patel, the general counsel of the organization, stated they had to delay the release of Woody's latest movie until 2019, which Allen was fine with at the time.

The case is Gravier Productions Inc et al v Amazon Content Services LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-01169.

In his complaint, Allen references other controversies Amazon has faced during the #MeToo movement.

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