Amazon has scrapped plans for an untitled drama series from David O. Russell and taken over full production on Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs,” both previously co-productions with The Weinstein Company.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the latter will no longer involve The Weinstein Company which has become overwhelmed by the sexual-abuse scandal that forced the company’s co-founder, Harvey Weinstein, out.
The scrapping of the Russell project is notable as it was to be the first small screen series role for Robert De Niro who would have co-starred with Juilanne Moore. Representatives for Russell, De Niro, and Moore released a joint statement saying: “We support Amazon’s decision as in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show.”
The real surprise with this story is that the Russell project has reportedly already managed to spend $40 million without shooting a single frame and with only a few scripts having been turned in. In contrast, there’s already a few episodes of”Romanoffs” in the can and things on it are moving right along fine.
Amazon is currently facing its own scandal, announcing the suspension of Amazon Studios president Roy Price who also faces renewed allegations of sexual harassment involving “The Man in the High Castle” series producer Isa Hackett which included pressuring her for sex and making multiple lewd and offensive statements. In the wake of the scandal they also cancelled the red carpet for the screening of their Woody Allen film “Wonder Wheel” slated for tonight at the New York Film Festival.
Under Price, Amazon Studios found some success with ‘High Castle’ along with the likes of “Catastrophe,” “Bosch,” “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Transparent”. However they never captured broad attention in the way shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” or Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” have.