Woody Allen and Amazon have settled a lawsuit over Allen’s controversial unreleased movie. Having released roughly a film a year since 1971, the multi-Oscar winning auteur has seen a sharp turn in his public image over the last few years. Throughout his extensive career, Allen has been no stranger to controversy, particularly after his very public breakup from actress Mia Farrow in 1992. Farrow, who had starred in 13 of Allen’s films over the years, found naked photos of her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn in Allen’s New York home. Allen admitted to being in love with Previn, and by 1997, the two were married. The story and subsequent break up between Farrow and Allen became international news, and Allen and Previn remain married to this day.
The public response to this incident was mixed, but it was Allen’s 2017 comments about accused sex-offender Harvey Weinstein as well as ongoing allegations he molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in the early 1990’s which really turned public opinion against him. Though Allen has always denied the accusations against him, his statement the Weinstein incident was “sad for everybody involved” made a bad situation look much worse. In response, Amazon Studios terminated a four-picture deal with the filmmaker this past winter, leaving the future of his most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York, in limbo.
After Amazon ended its relationship with Allen, the 84-year-old sued for $68 million, claiming the corporation’s reasoning for reneging on the deal was the result of “a 25-year-old, baseless allegation.” As THR now reports, however, Allen and Amazon have reached a settlement, officially dismissing the case with prejudice. Unfortunately, the exact terms of the settlement have not been made public and there is no indication at this point as to whether or not they ever will be.
As for A Rainy Day in New York, it has been screening in theaters in Europe since July. The film has yet to find a U.S. distributor, and it’s uncertain at this point if it even will. None the less, Allen continues to work on his next film, Rifkin’s Festival, which was shot entirely in Spain over the summer. Spain has long been an ally to Allen, having been the location for many of his films over the past several years, including 2008’s Oscar-winning Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Whether the termination of the Amazon lawsuit will have any effect on Allen’s public persona in the United States is doubtful, and stepson Dylan Farrow has long been a vocal supporter of his sister’s sexual abuse allegations against the famed filmmaker.
For many, the case against Woody Allen is an open and shut affair. The allegations have been made and many feel there is ample reason not to doubt them. However, one aspect of this case often ignored is an essay written by Ronan's adopted brother, Moses, in which he denies Allen ever touched the children in his care. He also claims to have been with Ronan the entire day on which she has accused Allen of molesting her. It’s doubtful the public will ever really know what happened in this case, but one thing about it is for certain – Allen’s filmmaking is sure to meet continuous resistance in the coming years, and the end of this Amazon lawsuit likely won’t help to make things go any smoother for his future work.