Woody Allen filed a $68 million suit with the Southern District of New York today over a four-picture deal with Amazon. The suit arrives as Allen’s latest film, “A Rainy Day in New York,” has been set in limbo, months after release.
The film, which stars Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning and Jude Law, among others, has been shelved following the latest round of controversy around the filmmaker’s 1992 sexual assault allegations. A number of the film’s stars have since expressed regret at participating in the picture and others have agreed to donate their salaries to charity.
“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, “and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract,” the suit alleges. “There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
The Amazon/Allen deal has already resulted in the release of two films — “Wonder Wheel” and “Cafe Society” — with more on the way. As Variety notes, the initial agreement was met with a then tongue-in-cheek comment from Allen, stating, “Like all beginning relationships, there is much hope, mutual affection and genuine goodwill — the lawsuits come later.”
The rise of the Me Too movement, however, brought past Allen allegations back into the spotlight, and Amazon has noted the increased scrutiny it has experienced as a result.