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Amazon Scraps Expensive David O. Russell Drama In Light of Weinstein Scandal

The untitled $160 million TV series was to have starred Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore.

Julianne Moore Robert De Niro

Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro

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Amazon made a pricey $160 million bet on a new series from director David O. Russell starring Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro. But now it’s folding those cards.

The streaming service announced late Friday that the untitled project wouldn’t be moving forward in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Weinstein Co. was a producer on the untitled series, the details of which had been kept under wraps. The decision to cancel production also came a day after Amazon Studios boss Roy Price, who picked up the show, was placed on indefinite leave due to sexual harassment allegations.

“We support Amazon’s decision as in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show,” Russell, De Niro and Moore said in a statement.

Amazon’s other project in the works from Weinstein Co., Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs,” was much further along in development and had already started production. That show will continue, but without Weinstein Co. involvement.

Harvey Weinstein and David O Russell (Director)'Silver Linings Playbook' special film screening, New York, America - 11 Nov 2012

Harvey Weinstein and David O. Russell

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The Russell project was controversial from the beginning, due to its high price tag. Networks like HBO declined to even hear the pitch, given the demands attached to the project, including a two-season, 20-episode pickup.

Deadline reported that the show might be “a crime/cop thriller that may be set in the 1990s” while The Hollywood Reporter said Russell was requesting a $1 million-per-episode fee. De Niro was on board at a whopping $750,000 per episode. The series would have continued Russell’s relationship with De Niro, who starred in the filmmaker’s features “Silver Linings Playbook” (which earned the actor an Oscar nomination) and “Joy.”

In TV, De Niro guest starred on “30 Rock” and “Extras,” and served as an executive producer on NBC’s “About a Boy.” He recently earned an Emmy nomination for playing Bernie Madoff in HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies.”

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