Report: Woody Allen’s Next Movie May Get Dumped by Amazon
As the #MeToo movement continues to swell, familiar allegations against a prolific director have resurfaced — and this time, Hollywood is listening. Dylan Farrow recently gave her first television interview to reiterate longstanding accusations that her father, Woody Allen, sexually assaulted her when she was just seven years old. Farrow’s statements came on the heels of reports that several actors that had appeared in Allen’s films — both recent and in the past — had either denounced the director or donated their salaries to relevant charities in support of the Time’s Up movement. According to a new report, Allen’s time may finally be up as well.
Dylan’s interview with CBS aired last week — a month after she penned an essay for the LA Times titled, “Why Has the #MeToo Revolution Spared Woody Allen?” After years of recounting the allegations against Allen, it seems as though the industry is finally ready to hear what Farrow has to say. And there’s a certain poetic justice to the proceedings, given that Hollywood’s long-overdue reckoning with violent misogyny began when her brother, the journalist Ronan Farrow, authored the initial investigation into the Harvey Weinstein allegations.
In addition to Farrow’s interview, several actors who worked with Allen in the past have spoken out against the director in recent weeks, including Colin Firth, Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino and Rebecca Hall — the latter of whom has a small role in the filmmaker’s latest project, A Rainy Day in New York. Hall, along with co-stars Timothée Chalamet, Griffin Newman and Selena Gomez donated their salaries from the film to charities that fight sexual abuse. (Gomez reportedly made an anonymous donation that exceeded her salary after being heavily criticized by her fans.)
As Vulture reports, sources with insider knowledge of the situation at Amazon Studios say that the planned release strategy for the film has been affected by all the negative publicity surrounding Allen. In an official statement, the 82-year-old director reiterated his denial of Farrow’s allegations, noting that the original claim was fully investigated by New York State Child Welfare and the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital 25 years ago, both of which found no evidence of sexual assault.
A Rainy Day in New York is Allen’s third film with Amazon Studios under a deal with former president Roy Price. The studio has had its own share of sexual misconduct allegations in recent months, including sexual harassment claims against Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor and Price himself, who resigned last October.
The film, which also stars Elle Fanning, Jude Law and Diego Luna (all of whom have yet to address the allegations against their director), is set to be released sometime this year. But according to sources, it’s likely that Amazon will either quietly dump the film or cancel its release altogether. Several insiders told Vulture that the company feels compelled to “make a statement that ‘We don’t tolerate sexual harassment.’” One executive explained that “Amazon can definitely afford to eat the cost of that movie.” They don’t seem to be concerned about a potential lawsuit in that scenario, either. “The producers would never sue,” the executive added. “You’d look like a f—ing moron if you sue for damages.”
Another insider, who is also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, suggested an alternative strategy:
If I’m handling this internally, I say, ‘Let’s hold our water. Let’s not date this thing yet. Let’s see if this thing blows over. America forgets everything anyway.’ Woody would not have signed a contract with Amazon that did not guarantee theatrical distribution. But they could say, ‘Woody, we have a problem. We need to renegotiate.’
In which case, Amazon would not release the film theatrically and would instead opt for a quiet VOD release — one without any promotional backing.
Although several actors have finally broken their silence on the subject to denounce the director, others remain quiet. Then there’s Alec Baldwin, who starred in To Rome With Love and Blue Jasmine, and who has been an outspoken supporter of Allen in recent weeks. A former studio executive tells Vulture that while “these allegations have haunted this guy for decades and this is a very different time and cultural moment unlike any before it,” he still thinks that Allen will emerge relatively unscathed: “My very jaded perspective is that his fans are older and those who go see his films are very set in their ways. This is going to be a horrible analogy but it’s like the Alabama voters who turned out for Roy Moore. Woody will always have his fans no matter what.”