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Original ‘Road House’ Writer Sues Amazon For Jake Gyllenhaal Remake

He says they made a new version of his movie without his permission.

As per Variety, R. Lance Hill, the screenwriter behind the 1989 action film ‘Road House,’ recently filed a lawsuit against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and its parent company, Amazon Studios, for their remake of the movie.

Filed on February 27, the suit accuses the entities of copyright infringement related to their remake of ‘Road House,’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal, set to premiere on Prime Video on March 21.

According to documents obtained by Variety, Hill alleges that Amazon Studios proceeded with the remake without recognizing his copyright claims to the 1986 screenplay. Hill contends that he sought to reclaim the rights to his work through a petition filed with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2021, anticipating the expiry of United Artists’ claim in November 2023.

Despite these efforts, Hill asserts that Amazon disregarded his legal rights and continued with the film’s production.

Did Amazon Use AI For Actors’ Voices?

The lawsuit also alleges the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology by Amazon to replicate actors’ voices for Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR) during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike to complete the film by the November 10, 2023, deadline.

This accusation previously surfaced in November 2023, when producer Joel Silver was reportedly dismissed from Amazon, not for verbal abuse as publicly stated, but for his objections to the AI’s use in ‘Road House,’ claims Amazon has denied.

Hill’s legal action also touches upon concerns over ‘key literary elements similar’ to his original script in Amazon’s remake. The lawsuit seeks to block the distribution of the remake and demands declaratory relief.

In response to the lawsuit, an Amazon MGM Studios spokesperson defended the company’s position, stating:

“The lawsuit filed by R. Lance Hill regarding ‘Road House’ today is completely without merit and numerous allegations are categorically false. The film does not use any AI in place of the actors’ voices. We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims.”

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) saw Hill’s contributions by awarding him a ‘story by’ credit for the remake. However, director Doug Liman has publicly boycotted the film’s release for Amazon’s decision to forgo a theatrical release in favor of streaming.

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