Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and barring that, a big budget helps. Amazon announced Thursday that it has managed to acquire the North American rights to Woody Allen’s upcoming film starring Steve Carell, Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, and more.
Allen has partnered with Sony Pictures Classics for several years, but it sounds like Amazon went after the deal hard. Sources tell Deadline that the company shelled out eight figures for the rights to the still-untitled romantic comedy. The film, which was shot last summer, has a high-profile cast that includes Steve Carell, Blake Lively, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Jeannie Berlin, Parker Posey, and more. Of course, there’s the appeal of Allen himself as well; the filmmaker is a multi-Academy Award winner with hit films like Midnight in Paris, Annie Hall, and Blue Jasmine to his name.
Amazon has made no secret of its desire to produce content with big names attached. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, previously admitted that the company is chasing an Oscar and indicated that it could offer a new platform to “masters like Spike Lee or Woody Allen.” The budding studio’s first feature-length film, Chi-Raq, came from Lee, and now it can check Allen’s name off that list, too.
Interestingly, Amazon had already locked the romantic comedy specialist down for an upcoming series (starring Miley Cyrus, no less), but apparently, that wasn’t enough. “Amazon made us an offer that we couldn’t refuse, and we have a responsibility to our investors,” Taborlake’s Erika Aronson, told Deadline, having negotiated the deal of behalf of the filmmakers.
“Woody Allen is a brilliant filmmaker,” said Roy Price, Head of Amazon Studios, in a press release. “We’re so proud to be in business with him for both his next film and his first ever TV series.”
The untitled film will get a nationwide theatrical release this summer, and will later be available through Prime Video.