The ‘Road House’ Drama Continues As Amazon Gets Slapped With A Lawsuit For Allegedly Using AI Voices

The punches just keep on coming for Amazon’s remake of Road House. The film already had an uphill battle by attempting to recreate the cult classic starring Patrick Swayze as the effortlessly cool bouncer Dalton. This time around, Jake Gyllenhaal takes over the role and just getting the film released has been an all-out brawl.

According to a new lawsuit, original Road House screenwriter R. Lance Hill had a copyright claim to the franchise that Amazon allegedly ignored. In 2021, Hill had filed a petition to have the rights revert back to him in November 2023 when United Artist’s claim to the property expired. However, Amazon allegedly scrambled to get the Road House remake finished before the November deadline by using AI to replicate the voices of the film’s leads to skirt around the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

According to Hill’s lawsuit, that plan didn’t work and the film wasn’t finished until January, well past the deadline. But the alleged use of AI is sure to raise eyebrows.

Via Los Angeles Times:

The lawsuit also alleged that the use of AI to simulate actors’ voices violated provisions in collective bargaining agreements between the major studios, including Amazon, and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, as well as the studio alliance contract with the Directors Guild of America.

Hill’s lawsuit is seeking to block the distribution of the Road House remake, which is already embroiled in an internal battle over its release strategy. Director Doug Liman has boycotted the film’s SXSW release after Amazon refused to give Road House a theatrical release despite Liman and Gyllenhaal making a direct plea to Jeff Bezos. Liman wrote a passionate op-ed decrying Amazon for streaming the film and essentially using it to sell “plumbing fixtures.”

However, a Variety report painted a different picture. According to sources, Liman and Gyllenhaal were offered a higher budget if the film was released on streaming, and well, they took the money. Gyllenhaal recently corroborated that report by confirming Total Film that Road House was made to be a streaming film, and Amazon was “always clear” on that.

In theory, Road House starts streaming March 21 on Prime Video.

(Via Los Angeles Times)