Woody Allen sues Amazon for backing out of distribution deals

Woody Allen

Woody Allen

As retribution for backing out of their agreement, Allen is asking reimbursement for the $9 million that he reportedly spent to self-finance A Rainy Day in NY, in addition to the minimum guarantee of $25 to $27 million Amazon allegedly agreed to pay to license the film.

"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 suit reads.

The embattled director, 83, is suing the studio for breach of contract claiming it backed out on the multimillion dollar deal without any 'legal basis, ' according to court documents filed on Thursday. In the lawsuit, Allen claims that Amazon backed out of the agreement after his daughter, Dylan Farrow, renewed longstanding accusations that Allen molested her as a child.

"There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises", the lawsuit says. Allen has steadfastly denied the allegations.

In June previous year, the same month that Amazon apparently terminated his contract, Allen backed the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment - and said he should be its poster boy.

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He stated that the deal very clearly outlined Amazon's agreement to "finance the Allen Films, (ii) make minimum guaranteed payments to Gravier totaling between $68 and $73 million, (iii) pay Gravier [Allen's production company] additional amounts based on the success of the Allen Films, and (iv) distribute the Allen Films widely". In January 2018, the streamer's general counsel, Ajay Patel, proposed delaying the release of "A Rainy Day in New York" until 2019, which Allen accepted.

We reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

The more than $68 million Allen is seeking from Amazon includes additional payments for A Rainy Day in NY, plus payments for the three other unfinished films.

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. The suit was filed in the Southern District of NY.

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