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Amazon Picks Up U.S. Rights To Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden,’ Paid $15 Million For Woody Allen’s Next Film

Amazon Picks Up U.S. Rights To Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden,’ Paid $15 Million For Woody Allen's Next Film

Money makes the movie world go ’round, and that was abundantly clear at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Netflix and Amazon made it clear they’re here to play and here to stay, spending big bucks in Park City on a variety of titles, making a huge impact on the landscape. And Amazon is continuing to throw around cash in the early part of the year.

READ MORE: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2016

Last week, it was announced that the streaming service had snapped up the rights to Woody Allen‘s untitled next picture starring Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott. However, THR now adds that the company paid a staggering $15 million, which is three times the $5 million Sony Pictures Classics ponied up for Allen’s previous picture, “Irrational Man.” 

“Amazon made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and we have a responsibility to our investors,” said Allen’s longtime producer Letty Aronson. “Woody wishes SPC could be the subdistributor for this film, but apparently they would not.” And while Sony Pictures Classics maintains they continue to have a “great relationship” with Allen, it really has to sting to be outpriced so heavily from working with a filmmaker they’ve been partners with for years. (Though the trade says on his most recent film, Allen went over-budget and covered the costs himself, which may suggest another reason why that Amazon deal was so attractive).

READ MORE: Disruptors: How Netflix & Amazon Are Creating Greater Tumult In The Independent Film Industry 

Meanwhile, the online retailer has added another top shelf director to their roster, with Variety reporting they’ve picked up Park Chan-wook’s upcoming “The Handmaiden.”  An adaptation of Sarah Waters‘ novel “Fingersmith,” the picture stars Ha Jung-woo, Kim Min-hee, Jo Jin-woong and Kim Tae-ri and is set during the Japanese rule of Korea, following a handmaid who employs the services of an heiress, con man and pickpocket. 

There are no release dates yet on either movie, but between these two pictures and Jim Jarmusch‘s “Paterson,” could Amazon have three movies at Cannes? That would certainly be something.

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