Woody Allen and his production company, Gravier, have filed a lawsuit against Amazon.
The lawsuit claims that Amazon is in breach of contract after opting not to distribute four Allen films. The company entered into a series of deals with Allen and Gravier, starting in 2014 as it grew its original content. The deals included his first-ever TV series, "Crisis in Six Scenes," the 2016 film "Café Society," and four other features.
The relationship apparently began to sour in 2016. That was when Allen's son Ronan Farrow wrote a 2016 column about a decades-old allegation made by the director's daughter Mia Farrow, as The Hollywood Reporter points out. The article, combined with the rise of the #MeToo movement, put the director in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, and Amazon soon became concerned.
The lawsuit says that Amazon executives discussed the negative publicity with representatives of Allen and Gravier in December 2017. Initially, Amazon planned to push the release date of Allen's "A Rainy Night in Paris" to 2019. However, by June 2018, Amazon had sent a termination notice, informing Allen and Gravier that Amazon would not be distributing it or the other films, the lawsuit says.
Allen and Gravier are now seeking more than $68 million in compensation, claiming that Amazon is not only in breach of contract for pulling out but also in breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The lawsuit further alleges that Amazon was unjustly enriched by "their highly-publicized relationship with Mr. Allen and Gravier."
According to the lawsuit, "There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises." It points to the fact that the allegation "was already known to Amazon (and the public)" prior to the deals and claims that Amazon "used" and "discarded" Allen.
It seems Amazon will have to make a case that it did have legitimate grounds to back out of the deal. The company has not responded to Moviefone's request for comment.