Woody Allen Inks Deal With Amazon To Release His 1930’s Romantic Comedy

Amazon said Thursday it has bought the North American theatrical and streaming rights to Woody Allen’s new, as-yet-untitled romantic feature comedy starring Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg and Blake Lively. The film will play in theaters briefly this summer before Amazon Prime subscribers can stream it, CBS.com reports.

“Like all beginning relationships, there is much hope, mutual affection, and genuine goodwill,” Allen said in a press release. “The lawsuits come later.”

According to Variety, principal photography on Allen’s 1930’s flick concluded last summer in New York. Woody’s Amazon deal mimics that of Spike Lee and Benjamin Dickinson, who have worked on feature films for Amazon Studios over the past two years.

“Woody Allen is a brilliant filmmaker. We’re so proud to be in business with him for both his next film and his first-ever TV series,” said Amazon Studios head Roy Price.

In March, Woody is set to begin filming a previously announced six episode TV Series for Amazon Prime, starring himself, Elaine May and Miley Cyrus. Last year, Price spoke of the legendary comedy director when announcing the TV series.

“Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honor to be working with him on his first television series,” said Price in a 2015 press statement announcing their deal with the director.

Allen added in the press statement: “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”

Allen’s career as an actor, comedian, filmmaker and playwright spans more than five decades. The most notable of his over 40 films are Take the Money and Run (1969), Annie Hall (1977), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Stardust Memories (1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and Blue Jasmine (2013). Allen’s latest film, Irrational Man, starred Joaquin Phoenix and was a box office disappointment last year.

Woody – who’s also an accomplished jazz musician – has received 24 Oscar nominations over the years, winning five, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Annie Hall. He has also won nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards.

The prolific visionary has had three wives: Harlene Rosen (1956–1959), Louise Lasser (1966–1970) and Soon-Yi Previn (1997–present). Korean born Soon-Yi was the adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow and her former husband, composer André Previn. Allen had a 12-year romantic relationship with Farrow, but they never married. She starred in 13 of his films from 1982 to 1992. In January 1992, Mia discovered nude photos of Soon-Yi inside Allen’s home. It was then that Farrow realized the two were having an affair. Mia and Allen had a bitter breakup, ending their longtime working relationship. 21-year-old Soon-Yi moved out of her mother’s home and in with Allen. They wed in 1997 and have two adopted daughters.

Critic Roger Ebert described Allen as “a treasure of the cinema.” However, in a 2015 interview with NPR, the iconic auteur dismissed and minimized his talents.

“I’m lazy and an imperfectionist,” he said. “Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese will work on the details until midnight and sweat it out, whereas for me, come six o’clock, I want to go home. I want to have dinner. Film-making is not [the] end-all be-all of my existence.”

“Another shortcoming is that I don’t have the intellect or the depth or the natural gift,” he added. “The greatness is not in me. When you see scenes in [Akira] Kurosawa films, you know he’s a madman on the set. There would be 100 horses and everything had to be perfect. He was crazy. I don’t have any of that.”

Woody Allen has also confessed that he doesn’t care how fans and critics remember him after he’s six feet under. At this point, the veteran filmmaker said all that matters are “the royalties to my kids.”

[Images courtesy Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP]