Amazon Studios has returned the domestic rights of director and producer Woody Allen for his upcoming film, A Rainy Day in New York. Earlier, the streaming giant had shelved the film indefinitely after allegations of sexual abuse against Allen resurfaced in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Now, Amazon has returned the rights to Allen, reported variety.com.
Last week the Elle Fanning and Timothee Chalamet starrer caused widespread confusion after Allen released a trailer of the drama on his Facebook page, saying it was “coming soon.”
The film had been stuck in the mire of litigation with his former creative producer partner, Amazon, but Allen is now free to proceed with any domestic release elsewhere as he sees fit, said a source close to the project.
A Rainy Day in New York already has international distribution commitments from France’s Contracorriente Films (September 18), Italy’s Lucky Red (October 3) and Germany’s Filmwelt/NFP (this year). In Germany, the film was pre-sold in 2017 by FilmNation and Allen’s Gravier Productions secured France and Italy and will handle sales in the rest of the world and now the US.
The film was screened for at least one American indie distributor as a prospective acquisition, but another source said the showing was done as a “professional courtesy” rather than an earnest business proposition. The screening has opened another channel of communication and debate around which American production house will release the film.
Earlier, last month all major American publishers had refused to publish Allen’s memoir, that shared the story of his side of things.
Allen and Amazon are locked in a legal battle regarding his overall deal, a reported 80 million four-film project agreement, which was stalled when allegations against the auteur resurfaced last year.
A top Hollywood film distribution chief on potentially acquiring the movie said, “This is death, publicity-wise.”
Meanwhile, Woody Allen has denied accusations of repeated sexual abuse by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, calling them baseless.
Lead actors of A Rainy Day in New York donated their salaries from the film to charities like the Time’s Up legal defence fund. The pair, Chalamet and Rebecca Hall publicly expressed regret over having worked with Allen.
The plot of the film revolves around ingenue Fanning being pursued by Chalamet. However, she gravitates towards an older man played by Liev Schreiber, who is 30 years her senior.