Woody Allen's £56 million lawsuit against Amazon suffers major setback

Ben Arnold
Contributor
US director Woody Allen (Credit: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)

Woody Allen's lawsuit against Amazon for abruptly ending its movie deal with him has hit a major bump in the road.

Yesterday, a federal judge in New York upheld the majority of the streaming studio's request to dismiss the case.

Allen is suing Amazon for $68 million (£56 million) for going back on a multi-movie deal, which has left his most recent film, A Rainy Day In New York, unreleased, despite having been finished for over a year.

Read more: Woody Allen launches lawsuit against Amazon

The studio dropped a four-picture deal with Allen in June last year, with Allen's lawyers claiming it did so over the historical allegations of sexual abuse against the director.

Claims from his daughter Dylan Farrow that her father molested her as a child re-emerged last year, though Allen has long denied the allegations.

In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote wrote that Amazon's partial motion to dismiss the case had been granted.

Now, according to Deadline, Allen will have to prove that it wrongfully went back on their contract with each film individually.

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“The complaint fails to allege an actionable breach of the MAA [Multipicture Acquisition Agreement],” Cote added.

“The plaintiffs identify no breach of a contract that does not relate to an individual film. The MAA provides that any claim for damages with respect to the films licensed through it may only be brought under each film’s SPA [Sales and Purchase Agreement].”

In it's motion to dismiss issued last spring, Amazon had said: “Understood in the broader context, Allen’s actions and their cascading consequences ensured that Amazon could never possibly receive the benefit of its four-picture agreement (despite already having paid Allen a $10 million advance upon signing).”

Allen is already making a new film, with the working title Rivkin’s Festival, said to be a homage to the Basque city of San Sebastian and its famous film festival.

Gina Gershon and Christoph Waltz are signed up to star.