Woody Allen confirms he will shoot 50th film in Paris – but it may be his last

In an Instagram Live interview with Alec Baldwin, Allen has said filming will begin in the French capital this autumn, but that much of the thrill of moviemaking has gone

The director Woody Allen has confirmed that he will shoot a new film in Paris this autumn. Speaking to the actor Alec Baldwin over Instagram Live, Allen, 86, suggested that his 50th film – previously said to be a drama similar to 2005’s Match Point – was likely to be his last.

“A lot of the thrill is gone,” said Allen. “Now you do a movie and you get a couple of weeks in a movie house, and then it goes to streaming or pay per view. It’s not the same. It’s not as enjoyable to me.”

Allen’s two most recent films – A Rainy Day in New York in 2019 and the Spanish-set Rifkin’s Festival in 2021 – were both released during the pandemic. The latter did not perform well, but A Rainy Day in New York – a romcom starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning – topped box office charts.

A Rainy Day in New York was also the first film released after Allen’s four-picture deal with Amazon collapsed in the fallout from renewed attention around the 1992 allegation by the director’s adopted daughter, Dylan, that he had sexually abused her.

The same allegation was re-examined in last year’s Allen v Farrow, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s HBO miniseries, which was made with the involvement of Dylan, her brother Ronan and their mother, Mia.

Allen has always denied the allegation; two lengthy investigations closed with no charges being brought against him.

Speaking to Baldwin, Allen said that he had managed to so far avoid catching Covid-19 through a mixture of luck and caution. “When the pandemic came,” he said, “I was in my house, petrified like everyone else, hiding under the bed.”

After a period of regret that he could not make the film he had been planning, Allen said he began to reassess the situation. “I thought: ‘Gee, I like it under the bed. I don’t have go out and I don’t have to make a film and be cold in the winter and hot in the summer and making decisions all day.’”

The interview coincides with the publication of Allen’s new book of short comic pieces, Zero Gravity; a play is also due to be staged in the near future. Both were largely written in lockdown.

Allen also took aim at the current state of Broadway, saying: “All the shows are musical revivals and you gotta get a star and they cost millions of dollars to put on.”

Baldwin is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits after the fatal shooting in October 2021 of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, a new western on which he is both lead actor and a producer.

Speaking on Tuesday, Baldwin and Allen steered entirely clear of the controversies involving both of them. Announcing the interview on Monday, Baldwin had suggested this would be the case.

“Let me preface this by stating that I have ZERO INTEREST in anyone’s judgments and sanctimonious posts here,” he wrote in an Instagram caption.

“I am OBVIOUSLY someone who has my own set of beliefs and COULD NOT CARE LESS about anyone else’s speculation. If you believe that a trial should be conducted by way of an HBO documentary, that’s your issue.”


Catherine Shoard

The GuardianTramp

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