Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Woody Allen hints at retirement because ‘romance of filmmaking is gone’

Director faced trouble with distribution and financing for films due to renewed interest in allegations of sexual abuse from stepdaughter Dylan Farrow

Shahana Yasmin
Tuesday 09 April 2024 06:08 BST
Woody Allen denies child abuse

Director Woody Allen has hinted that he’s unsure if he still wants to continue making films as “all the romance of filmmaking is gone”.

Allen recently finished his 50th feature – French-language erotic thriller Coup de Chance – and spoke about being on the fence about this being his last film.

“I’m on the fence about it,” Allen said in an interview with Airmail.

“I don’t want to go out to raise money. I find that a pain in the neck. But if someone shows up and calls in and says we want to back the film, then I would seriously consider it. I would probably not have the willpower to say no, because I have so many ideas.”

Coup de Chance premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2023, where it was received with mostly positive reviews. The film was finally released in the US after multiple delays on 5 April.

Speaking about the trouble with the film’s release, Allen said: “It doesn’t matter to me whether I get distributed here or not.

“Once I make it, I don’t follow it anymore. Distribution is no longer what it was. Now distribution is two weeks in a cinema … And then that’s it. I mean, Annie Hall played in movie houses in New York for a little bit over a year … The whole business has changed, and not in an appealing way. All the romance of filmmaking is gone.”

Woody Allen, pictured in 2017 (Getty Images for Turner)

Allen’s popularity as a filmmaker has diminished in recent years, amid the #MeToo movement and the renewed interest in allegations of sexual abuse from his adopted stepdaughter Dylan Farrow.

Allen escaped scrutiny for a large period since he was accused, until 2014, when Farrow as an adult, wrote an essay for New York Times Opinion shortly after Allen received a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.

“What’s your favourite Woody Allen movie?” Farrow wrote.

“Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

Allen denied the accusations and a 1993 investigation by the child sexual abuse clinic of Yale-New Haven hospital and the New York Department of Social Services cleared him of charges.

But Since Farrow’s essay, several actors who have worked with Allen before, including Kate Winslet, Rebecca Hall, Rachel Brosnahan, Mira Sorvino, Colin Firth, and Greta Gerwig, have publicly expressed regret. In 2018, Amazon Studios cancelled a $68m four-film deal with Allen.

Dylan Farrow accuses Woody Allen of sexual assault for the first time on television

Allen also spoke to AirMail about being “cancelled,” saying, “Someone asked me about cancel culture, and I said, ‘If you’re going to be cancelled, this is the culture that you want to be cancelled from.’ Because who wants to be part of this culture?”

Allen has spoken about his disillusionment with filmmaking, in an Instagram Live with actor Alec Baldwin in 2022. He said that the changing nature of cinema distribution has ensured “a lot of the thrill is gone”.

Allen talked about retiring earlier as well. In a 2022 interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, he said: “My idea, in principle, is not to make more movies and focus on writing”.

However, he denied plans to retire in a statement given to The Independent by his spokesperson.

“Woody Allen never said he was retiring, not did he say he was writing another novel,” they said.

“He said he was thinking about not making films as making films that go straight or very quickly to streaming platforms is not so enjoyable for him, as he is a great lover of the cinema experience. Currently, he has no intention of retiring and is very excited to be in Paris shooting his new movie.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in