Rio Wants Woody Allen; Mayor Offers Cash

Rio de Janeiro has thrown its hat in the ring in trying to lure Woody Allen to film in the city. The city's mayor Eduardo Paes has even offered to pay 100 percent of the production costs if the New York native headed to the famed Brazilian city for a future project.

This of course is not the only metropolitan area beckoning the Midnight in Paris director with cash in hand hoping to be named the next Allen production locale. Stockholm has also put the feelers out and Allen acknowledged the Swedish capital is a contender for a future film though he still as "not yet come up with a sensible idea." 

Barcelona, the capital of the Spanish region of Catalan successfully brought Allen to its city for 2008's Vicky Cristina Bercelona though the local government received criticism for extending public funds to the project. The vast majority of the filmmaker's features took place in New York City up until the turn of the century when financing persuaded him to head off shore. His 2011 feature, Midnight in Paris, is his biggest box office success to date, though his latest film, Blue Jasmine, which is his first return to the U.S. for a shoot in years, may rival Paris' $56.8 million gross.

"I really want him to come! I did everything. I've talked to his sister, I've sent him a plane ticket through [architect Santiago] Calatrava, his neighbor in New York, and I would pay anything for him to come shoot here," Paes said to Brazil's O Globo newspaper as quoted by Hollywood Reporter.

Brazil recently experienced widespread rioting by citizens who have, in part, criticized the government for extending public funds for such high profile events as the upcoming World Cup and the Olympics. Paes said he expects local artists and producers to attack him if he should pony up the "millions Woody asks," but said he'd still pay up.

In 2010, the city's film investment arm RioFilme said it was in negotiations with Allen's producers and agent. The talks had been announced as a success with a planned project set for 2011, but that was later dismissed by an Allen publicist.

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