We have been reporting on the shenanigans surrounding Doug Liman’s Road House remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It seemed like a cut and dried case of studio vs. creatives.

There was a big disagreement between the production, including talent, and the studio over a theatrical release. Liman and his star flew out to Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos on his yacht to plead for the release.


Doug Liman even went as far as publishing an open letter decrying the lack of a release and accused Amazon of “betraying cinema”.

As is usual in Hollywood, it all turns out to be a little more complex than presented.

According to a new report in Variety there is a lot more to the situation.

The project was initially set up in November 2021 at MGM with a full theatrical release. Mike De Luca and Pamela Abdy were running the studio. Streaming was not on the radar.

Then Amazon bought MGM for $8.5 billion and De Luca and Abdy left to run Warner Bros. Pictures.

The movie was already greenlit with producers, but was actually looking at cancellation in the wake of the acquisition. It was Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke who did a salvage job to let it live.

The producers, which include Gylenhaal, were given a choice to either make the film for $60 million as a theatrical release or make it for $85 million as a streaming-only release.

They opted for the latter $85 million option – streaming only – and signed off on it.

Then producer Joel Silver continued to push for a theatrical release, despite the agreements.

According to the report, he grew so aggressive and combative about it that they removed him from the project. Joel Silver? Combative? Surely not!

So all involved knew the deal when they started Road House. They agreed to it.

It turns out al this controversy is helping raise the profile of the movie, with trailer numbers tracking to make this one of Amazon’s biggest ever releases.

Road House will debut on the streamer on March 8th.


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