As someone who absolutely loves the original Road House (as you can see from this Reel Action I did on it), I’m pretty hyped about the new remake from Doug Liman and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Today, the marketing campaign kicked off with a really cool poster featuring Gyllenhaal and a number of Easter Eggs paying homage to the Patrick Swayze classic. However, there’s also some bad news that dulls my excitement just a little bit.
So let’s start with the good stuff. The new poster features the same neon signage as the original movie, and it looks awesome. Look closely in the background and you’ll see a framed image with the three simple rules by Swayze’s zen bouncer, Dalton: “Expect the Unexpected”, “Take It Outside”, and “Be Nice.” There’s also a Bigfoot #7 sign, a reference to the monster truck that demolishes the Double Deuce bar at one point. There’s also a Double Deuce shot glass, and overwritten graffiti that reads “FOR A GREAT BUICK CALL 555-7617.”
The new Road House stars Gyllenhaal as Elwood Dalton, an ex-MMA fighter who takes a job as a bouncer at a dangerous roadhouse in the Florida Keys. The film also stars Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Conor McGregor, and more.
Amazon/MGM will release Road House exclusively to Prime Video on March 21st. And that is the problem because Doug Liman is pissed at the lack of a theatrical release. There have been rumors swirling for weeks that Liman was pissed at Amazon’s release strategy for the film, and now that it has been confirmed, he has decided to boycott the March world premiere at SXSW.
He wrote in a piece to Deadline…
“When ‘Road House’ opens the SXSW film festival, I won’t be attending. The movie is fantastic, maybe my best, and I’m sure it will bring the house down and possibly have the audience dancing in their seats during the end credits. But I will not be there.”
“My plan had been to silently protest Amazon’s decision to stream a movie so clearly made for the big screen,” he continued. “But Amazon is hurting way more than just me and my film. If I don’t speak up about Amazon, who will? So here we go.”
Liman continued,“The facts: I signed up to make a theatrical motion picture for MGM. Amazon bought MGM. Amazon said to make a great film, and we will see what happens. I made a great film.”
“Because contrary to their public statements, Amazon has no interest in supporting cinemas. Amazon will exclusively stream ‘Road House’ on Amazon Prime.”
From what I’ve heard from a few people who have already seen Road House, Liman isn’t lying when he says he’s made a great movie. I just hope this controversy doesn’t get out of control and overshadows what is one of our most anticipated movies of the year.