For the past eight years, Sony Pictures Classics has enjoyed a comfortable relationship with Woody Allen, releasing all of the director’s films since 2009’s "Whatever Works." But with some surprising news coming today, it seems the filmmaker is ready to shake things up and go with some new blood.
Amazon has picked up the North American rights to Allen’s next film, shot last summer, starring Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott. The 1930s set romantic comedy will receive a regular theatrical release (no date has been set), and will then launch on Amazon Prime, to view at home. It’s another big get from the online merchant. As we explored earlier this month, Neflix and Amazon are making big waves on the indie film landscape, and there were few longer studio/director relationships in recent memory that have been as long lasting as Allen and Sony Pictures Classics (except maybe Quentin Tarantino and The Weinstein Company). This is certainly a major shift.
Clearly, Allen is enjoying what Amazon is offering him as a filmmaker. Next month he starts shooting his first ever TV series of the streaming site, that will star himself, Elaine May, and Miley Cyrus, and I won’t be surprised if that’s not the last project the prolific director does with Amazon.