Woody Allen sues Amazon for $68 million over alleged film deal breach

James Devaney  GC Images

James Devaney GC Images

Pressed to explain the termination, the studio said the deal was "impracticable" due to "supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way", Allen said in the lawsuit.

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.

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. Allen has denied those allegations.

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's claim indicates Amazon executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman met with his representatives in the wake of Farrow's New York Times letter, feeling that Amazon's reputation had already been tarnished due to past associations with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and former Amazon Studios head Roy Price.

Then - on June 19, 2018 - Allen says he was served a termination notice that stated, "Amazon is terminating the Agreement with respect to each of the Pictures" and that "Amazon does not intend to distribute or otherwise exploit the Pictures in any domestic or worldwide territories".

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. According to the suit, Patel did not provide a reason for terminating the deal.

The suit seeks $68 million in minimum guarantee payments arising from the four films, in addition to damages and attorneys fees.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished with permission.

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