Woody Allen will shoot his 51st film in Spain this summer with a cast including Christoph Waltz and Gina Gershon.
The writer-director was dropped by Amazon after a resurfaced allegation of sexual abuse but has found funding from Mediapro, the company who also produced his films Midnight In Paris and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Allen has always denied the claim.
The film is as yet untitled but during production it will be known as WASP2019 and features a cast largely made up of European talent, including two-time Oscar winner Waltz, The Skin I Live in and Wonder Woman star Elena Anaya, Pan’s Labyrinth villain Sergi López and The Dreamers star Louis Garrel. The two confirmed American cast members are Showgirls star Gershon and Wallace Shawn, who has previously worked with Allen in Manhattan, Radio Days and Shadows and Fog. Allen will also collaborate again with Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
The plot will follow an American couple at the San Sebastián film festival who find their marriage tested when he falls for a “beautiful Spanish woman” and she for a “brilliant French movie director”. It will shoot from July to August.
“This latest movie has all the ingredients to be right up there along with what we’ve become accustomed to from a director of Woody Allen’s talent: an intelligent script and a first-rate international cast,” said Jaume Roures of Mediapro.
The new film follows Allen’s $68m lawsuit aimed at Amazon for dropping him from a four-movie deal. The director had released just one film with them to date, the critically loathed drama Wonder Wheel starring Kate Winslet, and had finished production on A Rainy Day in New York starring Timothée Chalamet. After a resurfaced allegation of sexual abuse from his daughter Dylan Farrow, a claim that he has categorically denied, the film was shelved.
His filing read: “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 … There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
Last month it was announced that the film would be released in Italy with rumours of deals in other European countries. Allen claims he is owed $9m as he financed the production himself.
Since allegations resurfaced, many actors who have previously starred in his films, including Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Rebecca Hall and Colin Firth, have stated that they wouldn’t work with Allen again.
When asked about Allen in 2018, Gershon was cautious about expressing a definitive opinion. “I don’t know what the real truth is,” she said in a Jezebel interview. “I’m not one to judge him. I saw his band. I thought his band was awesome.” In 2014, Shawn defended Allen saying it would take “overwhelming evidence” to convince him of guilt.