Categories: Movie News

Road House: original movie’s writer sues to block release; makes wild AI claim

The fighting we’re about to see on-screen in the Road House remake seems tame compared to what’s happening behind the scenes of this Amazon-MGM production. First, Doug Liman was boycotting the SXSW premiere due to his objection over its streaming debut (which star Jake Gyllenhaal has pushed back on), but now an even bigger battle might be shaping up.

R. Lance Hill, aka David Lee Henry, is the writer of the original Road House, and he’s filed a lawsuit against Amazon for copyright infringement over his original screenplay for the 1989 film. One of his most explosive accusations is that the studio used AI dialogue replacement during the SAG strike to replicate the voices of the film’s actors in ADR sessions. 

As per the legal complaint (excerpted by Deadline), “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.”

For their part, Amazon’s attorneys are vehemently denying his claims, telling Deadline, “The film does not use any AI in place of actors’ voices. We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this case pans out, as AI’s use in Hollywood is proving to be one of the biggest hot-button issues. It was a central sticking point in the SAG-AFTRA negotiations this summer and fall. It will no doubt weigh heavily in the upcoming International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) negotiations, as many people in the industry fear AI taking their jobs. 

In the Road House remake, Gyllenhaal plays an updated version of Dalton, the zen-philosopher bouncer memorably played by Patrick Swayze in the original. This time he’s a UFC fighter, and while so far it does seem like a loose remake, the trailer does carry over some of the original film’s most iconic lines, such as “no one ever wins a fight.”

What do you think of this explosive lawsuit? Let us know in the comments. 

Published by
Chris Bumbray