Amazon Will Release Woody Allen’s Next Movie
Amazon is going all in on the Woody Allen business. The streaming-video giant has made some decisive moves in their quest to supplant Netflix as the dominant player in this increasingly crowded marketplace, one of which was landing Woody Allen for an original TV series back in January 2015. Last time he checked in about it, Allen wasn’t doing so hot with the TV format — he told Deadline that he “regretted every second since I said okay” to helming the six-episode series for Amazon — but he evidently enjoyed working with the studio, because Amazon has now announced that they will release Allen’s untitled next film.
Allen has had a longstanding relationship with Sony Pictures Classics when releasing his films, and so Amazon’s having landed this new project represents a serious coup for the upstart studio. There’s significance to this buy, and what an established auteur like Woody Allen represents. (He may be a lech and a creep, but the man’s still a giant of American cinema.) Amazon demands to be taken seriously, and they’ve done a pretty good job of it so far by releasing esteemed filmmaker Spike Lee’s firestarting Chi-Raq last year and paying $10 million for Manchester by the Sea at Sundance last month.
Wherever Woody Allen goes, controversy follows, and so perhaps Amazon anticipates another round of opinion-volleys whenever the film makes its simultaneous debut on Amazon Prime and in limited theatrical release. But more likely, they’re trying to establish themselves as a legitimate studio capable of working with big-name filmmakers and drawing respectably sized audiences.
The film, slated to star Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in the Zombieland reunion the world has been waiting for, is set to take place in the 1930s with Steve Carell, Blake Lively, and Parker Posey also featured. As a period piece, we can safely assume it’ll follow a similar model as the recent throwbacks Midnight in Paris and Magic in the Moonlight. And as a Woody Allen film, we can safely assume an effervescently witty woman will end up with a man who is less good-looking than she is.