Amazon is bringing some class to the dive bar scene, as it’s just announced that it’s greenlit a Road House “reimagining” and cast Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. It won’t be a direct remake of the cult ’80s film that starred Patrick Swayze as a brawling bouncer at a roadhouse and had him throwing punches and confronting drunken patrons left and right, but instead a new movie at Amazon inspired by the original Road House. Doug Liman, who has a solid history of directing grungy action movies, is set to direct the film from a screenplay by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.
In the movie Gyllenhaal will play a former UFC fighter who heads to the Florida Keys and takes a job as a bouncer at a local roadhouse known for its “rough-and-tumble” nature. Soon, however, he’ll discover that there’s more to the dive bar than meets the eye. In the original film that meant that Swayze’s character got in trouble with a local big wig who didn’t like him messing with his girl, but this one sounds like it might get a bit more sordid.
“Road House is a homerun for us. Not only is it a nod to fans of the original, but it is also a big, fun, broad audience movie,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Joel, Doug, and this great cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal, and for them to come together to reimagine the classic MGM film as an action-packed adventure for our global audience.”
The top-end Road House casting doesn’t end with Jake Gyllenhaal. Joining him in stopping drunken idiots from killing each other are Billy Magnussen (No Time to Die), Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad), Gbemisola Ikumelo (A League of Their Own), Lukas Gage (The White Lotus), Hannah Love Lanier (A Black Lady Sketch Show), Travis Van Winkle (You), B.K. Cannon (Why Women Kill), Arturo Castro (Broad City), Dominique Columbus (Ray Donovan), Beau Knapp (Seven Seconds), and Bob Menery. The film is produced by Joel Silver, who produced the original film and has a laundry list of other action franchises to his name.
“The original Road House has a special place in my heart and I am so excited to bring this newly imagined version to audiences around the world,” said Silver. “Doug and I have each made some big, boisterous action movies and are ready to bring everything we have to this one.”
It feels a little dirty calling Road House an action franchise, though. The film kind of stood on its own — ignoring the 2006 straight-to-video sequel — and this feels much more like a cash grab by Amazon after its MGM purchase than anything interesting. The original film’s popularity comes far more from the charm of its star and its camp, both things that you can’t duplicate easily. Hopefully, the filmmakers can find their own slant on what, by now, seems like a pretty trite plot.