The prolific director’s one-film-a-year pace may no longer be sustainable, say insiders
“Woody loves working. He never takes a vacation. But he will be taking time off this year until he can find a backer,” the Page Six entertainment site reported. Allen’s representatives are said to have denied any problem with financing the 2020 project.
Allen’s work rate is unparalleled in modern cinema. He has written, directed and released a new movie every year for the past 44 years, and had looked set to continue. In 2016, he signed a five-picture distribution deal with Amazon, which technically leaves him with three movies to go, after last year’s Wonder Wheel and A Rainy Day in New York, a romantic comedy starring Timothée Chalamet, Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall and Jude Law.
In January this year, however, doubts were raised as to whether the deal – brokered by Amazon’s previous studio head Roy Price – would be honoured, in the light of allegations of sexual abuse made by Allen’s adopted stepdaughter, Dylan Farrow. Farrow reasserted the allegations (which Allen has denied) last year. “The consensus is that Amazon will have no choice but to sever ties with the director, even if that means a hefty payout,” said the Hollywood Reporter.
Stars of A Rainy Day in New York, including Chalamet, Hall and Griffin Newman have pledged to donate their fees from the film to the Time’s Up movement and other charities for victims of sexual abuse. Other former Allen actors, including Greta Gerwig, Michael Caine and Ellen Page, have promised never to work with him again.
Until recently, Allen had a reputation for attracting the highest calibre actors, who have routinely worked for reduced fees, drawn by his reputation and the prospect of receiving an award. Allen’s films have won seven acting Oscars, and the director himself has won four of the awards. Now observers are wondering whether his “career break” will turn out to be permanent.