The announcement of Woody Allen’s new deal to create an untitled television show (his first in a 50-year career as a writer/director) for Amazon might have come as a surprise, but in context, it’s just the latest, albeit most shocking, development in the increasingly cutthroat world of streaming television. Granted, Allen breaking from the one-film-per-year formula he’s faithfully observed since the ‘80s is both unexpected and another sign that television’s reputation as an art form continues to swell. But on the face of it, the brunt of the risk is borne by the Internet giant, which is throwing its burgeoning “Amazon Studios” brand in with someone who just last year had to address his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegations that he sexually abused her as a child.
Allen is never going to stop working, and while the publicity storm over Farrow’s allegations has the potential to reawaken, it’s clearly made no dent in the filmmaker’s ambitions. His latest effort, Magic in the Moonlight, was released last summer to negative reviews and a tepid $10.5 million domestic box office, but that didn’t stop Allen’s next project from being greenlit. Backed by his usual indie European investors, the film (also untitled) stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone among others, and tells the particularly Allenesque story of a philosophy professor who embarks upon a relationship with a college student.
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