Road House filmmakers reportedly had a choice between theatrical and streaming releases; guess which one they took

The filmmakers behind Amazon’s upcoming Road House remake reportedly had a choice between theatrical and streaming releases.

Road House, Jake Gyllenhaal, drama

The upcoming Road House remake looks to be one of Amazon’s biggest movies of the year, but according to Variety, there has been some major drama brewing behind the scenes for several years, all to do with whether to release the movie theatrically or on streaming.

Road House will debut on Prime Video next month, but the lack of a theatrical release has caused some acrimony. When director Doug Liman first signed on to direct the movie, Michael de Luca and Pam Abdy were in charge of MGM at the time, and the intention was that Road House would be developed for the big screen, but that all changed when Amazon acquired MGM for a cool $8.5 billion. De Luca and Abdy left for Warner Bros., but Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke took charge of Road House and was set to give it the green light… but there was one important choice to be made.

Sources told Variety that Amazon Studios presented Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal with a choice: Make Road House with a $60 million budget for a theatrical release or get $85 million for an exclusive release on streaming. “They all took the money,” said one source.

Despite apparently agreeing to a streaming release, Doug Liman and producer Joel Silver were still trying to convince Amazon to let Road House go to theaters. The fight got so bad that Silver was ultimately fired from the production after allegations of verbal abuse, and sources told Variety that Ari Emanuel, CEO of WME parent company Endeavor, even contacted Salke to try to convince her to keep him on. It didn’t work.

Per the official logline: “In this adrenaline-fueled reimagining of the ’80s cult classic, ex-UFC fighter Dalton (Gyllenhaal) takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems.” In addition to Gyllenhaal, Road House stars Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Joaquim De Almeida, and Conor McGregor.

Doug Liman has said that he will be boycotting the movie’s premiere at SXSW. Road House reportedly tested higher than any movie in Liman’s career, more than Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity, and Liman feels that it could be a smash hit in theaters if Amazon would allow it. “Contrary to their public statements, Amazon has no interest in supporting cinemas,” Liman said. “Amazon will exclusively stream Road House on Amazon 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.

Road House will debut on Prime Video on March 21st in more than 240 territories worldwide.

Source: Variety

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.