Thursday, May 30, 2024

Jeff Bezos Really Wants an Oscar Next Year: Amazon Studios Spends $27 Million on Two Sundance Films, Setting Records


Jeff Bezos really really wants an Oscar next year.

At Sundance over the weekend, Amazon Studios spent a whopping $27 million on two new features.

The latest purchase, according to reports, is Scott Z. Burns’s “The Report,” starring Adam Driver. Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Ted Levine, Maura Tierney and Michael C. Hall co-star. Bening plays California Senator Dianne Feinstein. The film tells the true story of Daniel Jones’ comprehensive six-year investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on detainees suspected of terrorist activities. It was met with standing ovations and lots of offers. But Amazon is going to pony up $14 million.

Driver is a good investment these days. An Oscar nominee for “Blackkklansman,” he’s also Kylo Ren in the next “Star Wars” movie, which should hit around the same time next December. The rest of that cast ain’t chopped liver, either.

Earlier, Amazon paid $13 million for the Mindy Kaling written and produced “Late Night” starring Emma Thompson as a talk show host who is forced to hire Mindy as a writer in a diversity bid. The much loved film comes with a new song written by 10 time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. (Singer to be determined.)

Amazon is swinging for the fences now after a lot of misfires with indie films made by auteurs like Todd Haines and Richard Linklater. This year they’ve had to depend on “Cold War” as a foreign film nominee.

Amazon TV, however, is booming with “Mrs. Maisel.”


Hey– it’s only Monday. Sundance still has several days to go.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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