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Woody Allen Never Slows Down: ‘Stranger’ On The Way And Yet Another Pic Set in Europe


As long as Woody Allen is breathing, he will continue to churn out films (some good, some so awful they make you want to gag) like clockwork once a year. His last comedy, Whatever Works, hit theaters last summer to dismal reviews and poor box office (although I actually enjoyed it). But it’s not like that ever stops him. His latest flick, mysteriously titled You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, has just been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, which also released Whatever Works and Sweet and Lowdown back in 1999.

Stranger is a romance set in London (just like his critically praised Match Point and his critically panned Scoop were) with Allen’s usual eclectic mix of A-Listers, including Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts (both pictured with Allen on-set above), Antonio Banderas,  Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto, among others. The film is set to open at Cannes this May and on the arthouse circuit this fall. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be as well received as his last European romance, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. If so, then maybe Naomi Watts will finally get her just due come Oscar time (if she plays a ranting, raving ex-lover ala Penélope Cruz, that is). Stranger was financed by Spanish company MediaPro, as was Barcelona.

Allen’s track record overseas has always been pretty good, while here, he’s lucky to gross a fraction of what a “hit” film would usually earn. That’s why it’s no surprise that his next project on the docket, tentatively titled Untitled Woody Allen Project, is going to be filmed in Paris, again with foreign financing. Sure, he’s been a New York filmmaker for the majority of his career, but clearly he doesn’t love the Big Apple enough to stick around and take crap from American producers anymore. In Europe, he’s king. Here, he’s just Woody. I mean, the French even gave him a standing ovation at Cannes in 2002 when he premiered his dreadfully unfunny comedy, Hollywood Ending. Now that’s love.

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