Jake Gyllenhaal Contradicts Road House Director Over Streaming Controversy

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

Recently Doug Liman, director of the new Road House made news by boycotting his own movie’s release at South By South West due to Amazon’s choice not to release the new film in theaters. The story has drawn even more heat as the star of the new Road House, Jake Gyllenhaal, has given a conflicting account of Amazon’s actions.

While Liman claims Amazon misled him about the movie getting a theatrical release, Gyllenhaal claims that the company was always open about the lack of a theatrical release. 

The Roadhouse Reboot

The movie at the center of this controversy is the remake of the classic 1989 Patrick Swayze movie Road House, with Jake Gyllenhaal starring in the new version.

The original is a classic action movie following a bouncer in a rural bar with a simple sense of morality and quotable lines like “pain don’t hurt.”

It’s the sort of lore-light but beloved action movie that could work well remade for a modern audience if done correctly. 

The Roadhouse Controversy

Unfortunately, excitement for the new Jake Gyllenhaal version of Road House has been overshadowed by the controversy around how it’s being released.

Director Doug Liman joined the Road House reboot before Amazon was involved with the film at all, signing up to direct when the film was being made by MGM, with a traditional theatrical release being planned.

The trouble began when Amazon acquired MGM, with Liman claiming Amazon was open to the idea of a theatrical release before production but dismissed it once the film was finished. 

Jake Gyllenhaal Fine With Either?

Jake Gyllenhaal has taken a moderate stance on the release of the film but has disputed part of Doug Liman’s version of the story.

According to Gyllenhaal, Amazon was always open about the fact the new Road House would be released on its streaming platform Amazon Prime, not in theaters.

While Gyllenhaal has stood up for Doug Liman’s pro-theater stance in general, he’s also claimed to be fine with the streaming release of the movie, and his version of events makes Amazon come across as much less antagonistic. 

Negotiated Before Filming?

Jake Gyllenhaal road house

According to Variety, the decision to release Road House straight to streaming was negotiated before filming, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Doug Liman both agreeing to a streaming release in exchange for a higher production budget.

Between this information and Jake Gyllenhaal’s version of events, Liman’s objections lose some of their weight. After all, if Liman knowingly agreed to make the movie with no theatrical release he’s just as complicit in the lack of a theatrical release as Amazon. 

Streaming Vs. Theaters

Jake Gyllenhaal road house

Regardless of whether Jake Gyllenhaall’s version of events or Doug Liman’s is true regarding Road House, the story highlights the problem of streaming vs theatrical releases for new films.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, it became the norm for new movies to be released straight to streaming services rather than starting in theaters.

Many assumed that with theaters fully opened back up, this practice would die out, but the practice has persisted, which many critics claim has contributed to the downturn in box office returns. 

Road House On Amazon Prime

Jake Gyllenhaal road house

While the release method could have consequences for the film industry as a whole, the Amazon Prime release means the movie will be available for fans in their own homes soon.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Road House fans can watch the movie when it releases on March 21. However, fans who want to see it in full theatrical glory are out of luck.

Source: Variety