Woody Allen is ending his own career as a filmmaker, announcing that his next film will be his last.
The 86-year-old controversial writer, director and actor, whose body of work spanning decades includes classic films like ‘Annie Hall’, ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’, walks away from the camera .
“My idea, in principle, is not to make more films and focus on writing,” he told Spanish outlet La Vanguardia in an interview published Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Allen is currently working on his 50th and now final feature entitled “Wasp 22”, an all-French project which will be shot in Paris next month with a cast of local actors. Comparing the film to 2005’s “Match Point,” Allen described the upcoming feature as “exciting, dramatic and also very sinister.”
Allen said he plans to focus on writing books instead – he has published several collections of essays over the years – noting that any subsequent literary publication will not be a memoir.
The director’s comments come weeks after he appeared on an Instagram Live chat with Alec Baldwin, sharing at the time that he was considering retirement from acting.
“I’ll probably do at least one more movie, but a lot of the thrill is gone because it doesn’t have all the cinematic effect,” Allen said during the chat, according to Entertainment Weekly. “When I started making a movie, it was going to theaters all over the country and people were coming in their hundreds to watch it in large groups on the big screen. Now you’re making a movie and spending a few weeks in a theater of cinema – maybe six weeks, two weeks, or whatever – then it goes straight to streaming or straight to Pay-Per-View.
“So it’s not as enjoyable for me as it used to be,” he added. “I don’t have the same fun making a movie and putting it in a theater.”
Of course, the dwindling number of theatrical releases isn’t the only thing that has impacted Allen’s career in recent years. The filmmaker was essentially blacklisted by the industry following allegations in 1992 by ex-partner Mia Farrow and their daughter Dylan, who accused her adoptive father Allen of sexually abusing her as a child.
Allen repeatedly denied his claims and went on to make numerous films in the years that followed, including his later feature films “A Rainy Day in New York” and “Rifkin’s Festival”, which received releases from increasingly limited to the United States.
In the wake of the Me Too movement, Farrow’s allegations have received renewed attention. Many former Allen stars, including Kate Winslet and Drew Barrymore, have publicly distanced themselves from the filmmaker, while Amazon backed out of a multi-project deal to distribute his films amid public pressure surrounding the allegations.
Her 2020 memoir “Apropos of Nothing” sparked an intense backlash when her original publisher, Hachette Book Group, canceled the release after employees pulled out in solidarity with Dylan and survivors of sexual assault.
The abuse allegations were also at the center of HBO’s four-part docuseries, “Allen v Farrow,” which premiered in February 2021 and drew closer scrutiny of the case.