Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios for $68 million over A Rainy Day In New York, the film the company shelved in the wake of renewed scrutiny of sexual assault allegations against the writer-director. Filmed in 2017, A Rainy Day In New York was to be the third feature film released under Allen's pact with Amazon, after 2016's Cafe Society and 2017's Wonder Wheel. However, in August of last year Amazon decided to put the movie on the shelf, offering up no explanation as to why.
Though Amazon may have been mum about their reasons for shelving Allen's film, it was certainly no coincidence that the decision came after new attention was shone on allegations of sexual abuse against the director, prompted by a 2017 essay by Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. Amid the new backlash against Allen, many stars of the director's movies came out expressing their regret over working with him, though a handful of Allen loyalists have defended him. Rainy Day In New York star Timothée Chalamet took things one step further than most by donating his salary from the film to the Time's Up organization.
With A Rainy Day In New York still sitting on the shelf, Allen is now reportedly suing Amazon Studios for $68 million over breach of contract and damages, as reported by TMZ. Though Amazon never publicly explained their reasons for shelving the film, in the suit, Allen alleges that when he demanded an explanation, the studio told him it was over "renewed allegations" as well as Allen's own controversial comments. Also in the suit, Allen calls accusations that he sexually assaulted Farrow "baseless."
Farrow first made allegations of sexual assault against Allen back in August 1992, when as a 7-year-old she claimed he molested her in the home of her adoptive mother and his then-wife Mia Farrow. The allegation came after Farrow learned Allen had been having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, another of her adoptive daughters, who at the time was in college, and Allen claimed Dylan Farrow's allegation against him was concocted as an act of revenge by Mia (Previn herself was still defending her now-husband Allen as of 2018). Dylan Farrow has repeated her allegations many times over the years, though Allen never suffered major backlash, carrying on a career as an acclaimed film director and actor.
However, in the new climate fostered by the #MeToo movement in the wake of allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, the long-standing accusations against Allen became a more prominent issue and that long-delayed backlash finally set in. With his film career looking to be over, it seems Allen is resorting to the last-ditch move of seeking a financial payoff from Amazon, who have no reason to release A Rainy Day In New York now that Allen has become a pariah.