By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 19, 2013 at 1:49PM
Woody Allen, Rio is calling. In a recent interview, Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes made it clear that he wants the "Blue Jasmine" director to make his next film in Brazil's second-largest sprawling metropolis: "I'll pay 100% of the production. I'll pay whatever it takes to get him to come film here."
Paes has already made a number of attempts to lure Allen to his city, saying in the interview that he contacted Allen's sister and long-time producer Letty Aronson, and sent the director a message via Spanish architect and Allen's NY neighbor Santiago Calatrava.
But Brazil isn't the only country hoping for its close-up in a Woody Allen film. Recently he revealed that Stockholm, Sweden made a similar offer; at the moment, Allen's declined, saying he'd need a good inspiration to incorporate the city and surrounding area.
Allen and Aronson have a cool set-up as independents who remain in complete control of their films. Allen's films usually perform twice as well overseas as in North America--"Midnight in Paris" earned $56 million domestic and $98 million foreign. Hence they raise foreign coin for each project, with support from the foreign countries where they shoot, and have actors lining up to star in them for basement rates. After his many sojourns abroad Allen returned stateside for Oscar frontrunner "Blue Jasmine," which was filmed in San Francisco and looks to outgross "Midnight in Paris" domestically.
As a result, Aronson and Allen are constantly solicited by foreign cities to shoot there. (Shooting in China would be problematic because of censorship issues.)
In an interview with TOH!, Aronson said that "In Europe, there is greater regard for the filmmaker. Woody's creative rights are non-negotiable. We don't show anyone a script. No one participates in selecting the cast, sees dailies, or the rough cut." And South America is hoping to follow suit.
Our "Midnight in Paris" TOH! interview with Allen is here.