It looks as though Amazon Studios is staying in the Woody Allen business in a big way. They are reaching the end of negotiations to fully finance Allen’s 2017 project with a whopping $25 million budget, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This move would push out the financiers of his last four films, Ron Chez and Edward Walson, as well as longtime Allen producer Stephen Tenenbaum (he has been working with Allen since 2001’s Curse of the Jade Scorpion).
Amazon seems to be building a lasting relationship with Allen, financing his first series – to star Miley Cyrus and Elaine May – and the recently released Cafe Society, which set a record box office take for independent films this year. Cafe Society itself went $10 million over budget to reach all the way to $30 million. Although Amazon looks to be putting a lot of faith in the filmmaker, $25 million doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. It is a bit surprising, however, seeing as how Allen’s films, although a regular draw at the box office, don’t typically overcome their budgets in the long run.
The film in question will star Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, Justin Timberlake, and Juno Temple, and will reportedly be another period piece. The film is set to begin production this fall in Coney Island, NY.
Ending Allen’s long-term relationship with Sony Pictures Classics, Amazon is also taking the reigns in entering the prestige picture arena, also financing Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck from the ground up and obtaining hot titles like Manchester By the Sea, a film starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams that impressed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.