Woody Allen sues Amazon for backing out of distribution deals

Woody Allen

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The 83-year-old director filed a $68 million lawsuit Thursday against the company over the release of his most recent feature film, A Rainy Day in NY, starring Selena Gomez and Timothée Chalamet.

The "Annie Hall" director filed the suit against the studio in Manhattan federal court Thursday, accusing it of reneging on the deal without cause.

The legal action said Amazon knew about "a 25-year old, baseless" allegation when it entered into deals with the director and that it "does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate 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. Allen has been dogged by such claims for more than 20 years stemming from an accusation that he molested his and Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Dylan.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Allen has consistently denied the allegations.

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 first movie in the deal, "A Rainy Day in NY", has been completed for over six months - but Amazon has been hesitant to release it.

Amazon's general counsel Ajay Patel allegedly told Allen's reps in January 2018 A Rainy Day in NY would be released but asked them to "push back" the release date to 2019, which Allen agreed to do.

Director Woody Allen attends the "Cafe Society" photocall during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, on May 11, 2016.

Later that month, Amazon suddenly told him it was scrapping the whole deal - saying it would now be "impracticable" because of "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", according to the suit.

But it dropped his most recent movie, A Rainy Day in NY.

Right now, Allen is seeking at least $68 million in compensation for the botched deals arising from the loss of four movies.

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