Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

Woody Allen to return to filmmaking with Spanish producer Mediapro

Development deal comes amid accusations of sexual misconduct and cancellation of Amazon deal

Director Woody Allen is likely to make his next film in Spain. EPA
Director Woody Allen is likely to make his next film in Spain. EPA

Woody Allen is set to return to filmmaking with backing from Spanish producers Mediapro, and is likely to make his next film in Spain.

Variety magazine reports that Mediapro, which previously worked with Allen on Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris, the director’s highest-grossing film to date, has signed a development deal with Allen.

No details of any specific project have been released, but Spanish newspaper El País reports that Allen’s sister and long-term producer Letty Aronson has been scouting locations in the Basque city of San Sebastian, and meeting with local officials.

The reports come two weeks after Allen launched legal action against Amazon, claiming the tech giant had broken a four-film deal it had signed in 2017. Amazon have not as yet released A Rainy Day in New York, the first in the projected four-film agreement.

Jennifer Salke, CEO of Amazon Studios, subsequently said in an interview with the New York Times: “We don’t have any plans to release any Woody Allen movies.”

A Rainy Day in New York, which stars Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning and Jude Law, became bogged down in controversy after an article by Allen’s adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow titled “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?” appeared in the LA Times in December 2017, accusing the director of sexual abuse. A number of Allen collaborators, including Chalamet, Rebecca Hall, Greta Gerwig and Colin Firth publicly disassociated themselves from the director. Chalamet donated his salary to charity, saying: “I don’t want to profit from my work on the film.”

Allen has been defended by others though, including Vicky Cristina Barcelona star Javier Bardem, who said in 2018: “I don’t agree with the public lynching that he’s been receiving, and if Woody Allen called me to work with him again I’d be there tomorrow morning. He’s a genius.” Allen's son Moses Farrow has also spoken out in defence of his father.

In a statement to the New York Times, Mediapro said: “We have a 10-year relationship with Mr Allen and, like all projects we produce, we judge the creator by its work.”

Updated: February 24, 2019 12:33 PM