How does one improve upon perfection? It’s something actor Jake Gyllenhaal and director Doug Liman may soon have to seriously ask themselves. As per Deadline, the two are circling a remake of Road House, the seminal, bonkers ‘80s action movie about an NYU philosophy grad student-turned-Deep South bouncer (Patrick Swayze) who eventually wages battle with an evil capitalist (Ben Gazzara).
MGM, hot off their big Amazon acquisition, as well as No Time to Die (with Licorice Pizza on the horizon), are looking to redo the film, though it’s unclear when their star will have time to do it. Gyllenhaal is on the cusp of shooting Guy Ritchie’s The Interpreter, with Everest due after that. (That one’s not to be confused with the 2015 film also called Everest, also with Gyllenhaal.) Still, the project is deemed to be “high priority,” though there’s no word if it will be a straight remake or take it in its own, possibly equally deranged path.
Then again, how does on remake Road House? It’s a flash-in-the-can masterwork, impossible to repeat. It had a beefcake star with a magnificent mane who took himself incredibly, beautifully seriously. Sam Elliott could still do roundhouse kicks (though perhaps he still can). It starts off as one batcrazy movie and turned into something even more surreal. It has a guy getting his windpipe ripped out and another being crushed by a stuffed polar bear. It’s not tongue-in-cheek but it’s not that serious either, in a way that’s strictly of the early Bush I era. It’s so great that people with smallish roles in it will, over 30 years later, still do interviews about it.
Then again, Gyllenhaal can at least fight. He got ripped back in 2015 for the boxing movie Southpaw. But even if it’s a dog, that shouldn’t affect fans of the 1989 original. After all, they know that pain don’t hurt.