Woody Allen’s $68-million lawsuit against Amazon hits a hurdle

Director Woody Allen attends a special screening of "Wonder Wheel," hosted by Amazon Studios, at the Museum of Modern Art in November 2017 in New York.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Woody Allen’s $68-million lawsuit against Amazon for breach of contract hit a setback Wednesday, when a federal judge in New York dismissed a number of the director’s claims.

Allen and his company, Gravier Productions, filed suit in February saying that Amazon Studios reneged on an agreement to support and distribute films theatrically in at least 500 screens in top U.S. markets.

Last year, Amazon terminated its agreement citing the resurfacing of past abuse allegations against Allen in the wake of the #MeToo movement. In 1992, Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter with Mia Farrow, accused him of sexually molesting her as a child. Allen has long denied the allegations. His lawsuit pointed out that Amazon was aware of these allegations before entering into an agreement with him.

“There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises,” the lawsuit said.


The judge dismissed four of Allen’s eight claims, stating that the complaint failed “to allege an actionable breach of the” multi-picture acquisition agreement.

Representatives for Amazon Studios and Allen could not be immediately reached for comment.

Allen can still continue to pursue Amazon for breach of contract over four films, including “A Rainy Day in New York,” which was originally scheduled to be released in 2018 but was pushed back to 2019 after sexual misconduct allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein and Roy Price, then head of Amazon Studios. Price was instrumental in brokering the deal with Allen. He resigned from Amazon in 2017, two years after he was accused of sexually harassing a television producer.

Allen has reportedly reached international distribution agreements with Mediapro, one of Spain’s largest media groups, and New York-based FilmNation to distribute “A Rainy Day in New York” as well as his next project, “Rivkin’s Festival.”