With its first original film heading out of theaters, Amazon is now shifting attention to its next release. Amazon announced today that its second picture will come from director Jim Jarmusch — known for indie films like Only Lovers Left Alive and Coffee and Cigarettes — and will star Adam Driver, who's moving back to a smaller film after playing Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. The movie is called Paterson and most filming has already been completed. Amazon says to expect a theatrical premiere this year, though it doesn't have a specific date just yet.
Amazon has a very specific film strategy so far
Working with Jarmusch helps to cement Amazon's strategy in film: it's picking up off-beat movies from directors with passionate followings but who don't always appeal to mainstream audiences. Spike Lee was the first of those, making his Lysistrata adaptation Chi-Raq for Amazon. Amazon also has a deal with Terry Gilliam, who, supposedly, is going to make his long-delayed Don Quixote adaptation for its film studio. That also ties together with the kind of streaming deals that Amazon has made — it has A24's catalog, for instance, giving Prime subscribers access to niche but brilliant titles like Ex Machina and Spring Breakers.
Paterson is about a bus driver named Paterson, played by Driver, who lives in Paterson, New Jersey and has an extremely routine life; his life is contrasted with the day-to-day of his wife, played by Golshifteh Farahani, whose goals are regularly changing. The entire story takes place over the course of a week, which is cool if you're into condensed narrative structures. Amazon's studio head, Ted Hope, calls it "funny" and "philosophical." Jarmusch certainly isn't for everyone, but Paterson sounds like it could be one of his more accessible titles. At the very least, it'll help Amazon differentiate its film library from the more mainstream options over at Netflix.