After Spanish media reported over the weekend that Woody Allen had announced his retirement from filmmaking to focus on writing, representatives for the director have pushed back on the reports.
“Woody Allen never said he was retiring, nor did he say he was writing another novel,” a representative for Allen said in a statement to Variety.
“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, which will be the 50th.”
Allen’s manager, John Burnham, confirmed the statement to NBC News and blamed the confusion on “a misstatement in the Spanish press.”
While in Europe to work on his 50th film, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that Allen said he intended to retire from making movies and to dedicate more time to writing during his twilight years. His upcoming film is set in Paris and will be shot entirely in French in a couple of weeks.
Allen described the film to be similar to “Match Point,” in that it would be “exciting, dramatic and also very sinister.” He recently wrote his fifth collection of humor pieces, “Zero Gravity,” which will be published Sept. 27 by Alianza in Spain. In the U.S., it was published by Arcade and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
Allen has been shooting more often in Europe as his support in the U.S. has plunged given the abuse accusations against him. In 2020, he opened the San Sebastian Film Festival with “Rifkin’s Festival,” shot in and around the tony city of San Sebastian. His relationship with the Basque provincial capital’s festival goes back to 2004 when he premiered “Melinda & Melinda” and in 2008 with the premiere of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
Starring Elena Anaya, Louis Garrel and Gina Gershon, “Rifkin’s Festival” takes place during the fest, the most important in the Spanish-speaking world.
He announced at the press conference marking the start of production on the film that he “never thought of retiring.” “Rifkin’s Festival” was backed by Spanish media giant Mediapro, which also supported two of Allen’s more successful films “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which garnered Penelope Cruz her first Oscar, and “Midnight in Paris.”
Amazon Studios shelved his previous film, “A Rainy Day in New York,” after accusing Allen of “sabotaging” the future of the film by his comments on the sexual abuse accusations against him from his daughter, Dylan Farrow. He sued Amazon Studios for $68 million, alleging a breach of contract. The dispute was later settled out of court.
Allen has had trouble with publishing houses as well. Hachette canceled the publication of his memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” after staff protests, but it was picked up by another publisher, Arcade.