A federal judge on Tuesday has made Woody Allen's $68 million lawsuit against Amazon more difficult.
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The filmmaker in February sued Amazon studios, alleging the company breached their contract by refusing to release his film "A Rainy Day in New York" and canceled a deal to produce four movies after his daughter, Dylan Farrow, renewed allegaitons that Allen molested her as a child. Allen has denied the allegations.
"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen — and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract," the suit said. "There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises."
But on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote ruled Allen must show Amazon breached the contract in regards to each movie individually.
"The complaint fails to allege an actionable breach of the MAA," Cote wrote.
"The plaintiffs identify no breach of a contract that does not relate to an individual film. The MAA provides that any claim for damages with respect to the films licensed through it may only be brought under each film’s SPA [single picture agreement]. The plaintiffs have brought such claims in their first four causes of action and Amazon Content does not seek dismissal of those claims. The MAA provides certain benefits to Amazon, such as an exclusive 'first look' at Allen’s subsequent literary and visual materials and the right to publicize the parties’ agreements, but the plaintiffs do not allege that they suffered damages from the termination of these provisions."
Discovery for the trial is expected to conclude in November, and a pretrial motion will occur on March 6.