‘Road House’ Screenwriter Sues Amazon Studios over Alleged AI Use, Jake Gyllenhaal Disputes Doug Liman

Jake Gyllenhaal in Roadhouse
Prime Video

The controversy surrounding Amazon’s upcoming remake of the smash 80s B-movie hit Road House has taken a sudden turn for the bizarre now that the film’s original screenwriter has sued the studio for allegedly using AI and actor Jake Gyllenhaal has disputed director Doug Liman’s claim that Amazon had originally agreed to grant the film a theatrical release before relegating it to streaming.

R. Lance Hill, the original screenwriter behind the 1989 cult classic, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that Amazon MGM Studios and United Artists committed copyright infringement by not allowing him to reclaim the rights to his original screenplay.

“On November 11, 2023, the Screenplay’s copyright thereby duly reverted to Hill under the Copyright Act,” the lawsuit says. “Yet, in contravention of the Act’s fundamental authorial termination right, [the] Defendants refused to acknowledge Hill’s statutory termination.”

According to TheWrap, Hill’s lawsuit also alleges that Amazon used “artificial intelligence technology during last year’s SAG-AFTRA strike to try meeting the November 10th, 2023 deadline to complete filming.”

“Hill is further informed and believes and based thereon alleges that Defendants went so far as to take extreme measures to try to meet this November 10, 2023 deadline, at considerable additional cost, including by resorting to the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) during the 2023 strike of the Screen Actor’s Guild (‘SAG’) to replicate the voices of the 2024 Remake’s actors for purposes of ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement), all in knowing violation of the collective bargaining agreements of both SAG and the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) to which Defendants were signatories,” the lawsuit said.

An insider with knowledge of the situation rebuked the claim of AI being used, noting that only the filmmakers would have been able to utilize the technology while editing the film.

“Addtionally, the insider added that the studio expressly instructed the filmmakers to not use AI in this movie. Filmmakers were advised by the studio to take everything out of the cut of the film, either AI or non-SAG AFTRA actors to complete the film. The studios believes the copyright termination is effective and they will vigorously contest their rights in the property,” noted TheWrap.

As Breitbart News reported, director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Swingers) announced he would be boycotting the premiere of Road House after claiming that Amazon went back on its deal to give the film a theatrical release.

“[C]ontrary to their public statements, Amazon has no interest in supporting cinemas. Amazon will exclusively stream Road House on Amazon’s Prime. Amazon asked me and the film community to trust them and their public statements about supporting cinemas, and then they turned around and are using Road House to sell plumbing fixtures,” he wrote in an op-ed for Deadline.

Limon also stressed that the film tested better with audiences than any other of his box office hits, adding that its partnership with UFC (a loyal fanbase) would ensure a strong theatrical run.

Speaking with Total Film magazine this week, the film’s star, Jake Gyllenhaal disputed Liman’s claims, adding that Amazon made it clear from the outset that it had always intended Road House as a streaming vehicle on Amazon Prime.

“I adore Doug’s tenacity, and I think he is advocating for filmmakers, and film in the cinema, and theatrical releases. But, I mean, Amazon was always clear that it was streaming,” Gyllenhaal said.

“I just want as many people to see it as possible. And I think we’re living in a world that’s changing in how we see and watch movies, and how they’re made,” he continued. “What’s clear to me, and what I loved so much, was [Liman’s] deep love for this movie, and his pride at how much he cares for it, how good he feels it is, and how much people should see it.”

As Breitbart News reported last year, Doug Liman’s credibility took a downturn with his self-funded documentary Justice, which attempted to revive the disputed claims of sexual assault that were leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. Journalist Mark Judge, one of Kavanaugh’s childhood friends who was named during the trial, alleged that Liman and his crew essentially tried to “ambush” him into an interview for the documentary. Judge wrote in the Washington Examiner:

A lot of people were traumatized by the events of 2018, and they weren’t all women. The sneaky way Liman and his crew went about approaching me was a terrible flashback to the darkness of 2018, when opposition researchers, extortionists, and crazy people tried everything to make me lie.

After first contacting me, Liman and his crew asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement. They then (and this was truly incredible) ignored my agent, contacting me three times after I had made it clear to talk only to my representative. They could have avoided a lot of the embarrassment that occurred at Sundance if they had behaved with some journalistic honor.

Mark Judge also weighed in on the Amazon controversy on X.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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