Following Road House Release Controversy, Amazon Has Been Hit With A Lawsuit Over Jake Gyllenhaal’s Remake

In two weeks, a remake of 1989’s Road House is set to premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas ahead of the action movie coming to those with an Amazon Prime subscription later in March. Following director Doug Liman speaking out against Amazon and deciding to skip its debut due to its exclusive streaming release, which led to Jake Gyllenhaal weighing in on the subject, the 2024 remake has been hit with a lawsuit. The writer of the original movie is suing Amazon for “copyright infringement.” 

R. Lance Hill is the writer behind the original Road House starring Patrick Swayze, which is highly regarded as one of the best ’80s movies, but he penned the movie under the name “David Lee Henry.” Per Variety, Hill has decided to take on Amazon Studios for allegedly ignoring his calls to reclaim the rights to Road House ahead of the remake’s production and release. 

According to Hill’s lawsuit, the writer filed a petition to get the copyright back for his 1986 script back in 2021 after his rights were set to expire with United Artists in November 2023. He alleges Amazon ignored his requests and went ahead with the Jake Gyllenhaal-led Road House movie without his consent. R. Lance Hill also claims the studio used A.I. to replicate the voices of actors for ADR during the SAG-AFTRA strike in order to get the movie finished before the November deadline. However, Hill also alleges the movie was actually not finished until January of this year. 

Hill’s lawsuit includes a side-by-side comparison of his script with the upcoming remake. Here’s how an Amazon spokesperson responded to the lawsuit: 

The lawsuit filed by R. Lance Hill regarding ‘Road House’ today is completely without merit and numerous allegations are categorically false. The film does not use any A.I. in place of actors’ voices. We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims.

The spokesperson’s statement also alleged that there is no A.I. in 2024’s Road House, but artificial intelligence may have been used in the editing process by the filmmakers only in early edits rather than by the studio. Additionally, the Amazon response suggests that the studio “instructed” filmmakers not to implement A.I. in Road House

Furthermore, Amazon doesn’t believe Hill’s copyright termination is “effective” and is ready to contest the writer’s claims. With R. Lance Hill’s lawsuit, the writer hopes to get declaratory relief and could even block the distribution of Road House on Amazon this March. You can check out the trailer for Road House below: 

Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star in Road House as Elwood Dalton, a former UFC middleweight fighter who ends up working at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys. He’ll be joined by a cast including Daniela Melchoir, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Lukas Gage, Post Malone and Conor McGregor. The movie will start streaming on Amazon March 21. 

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