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Writer of original "Road House" film sues Amazon Studios over remake

The screenwriter of the original "Road House" film has filed a lawsuit against the production studios behind the remake of the cult classic, alleging that his copyright claims were ignored by the studios. 

UFC 285 Mixed Martial Arts
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal looks on while filming a scene for an upcoming remake of the 1989 movie "Road House" during a UFC 285 mixed martial arts event Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. David Becker / AP

R. Lance Hill, who wrote the screenplay using his pen name David Lee Henry, alleged that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and its parent company Amazon Studios took no notice of his attempts to reclaim the rights for the 1986 screenplay as they prepared the remake of the "Road House" movie that debuted in 1989, according to the filing with the United States Central District Court in Los Angeles. 

The lawsuit also contends that Hill had filed a petition with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2021, requesting that the copyright return to him after the previous claim, by United Artists, was set to expire in Nov. 2023. 

Additionally, the lawsuit says that Amazon ignored his claims and continued with the film's production, using artificial intelligence to replicate voices of actors in during the lengthy SAG-AFTRA strike last year as the project's completion date deadline loomed. 

Hill says that the film was not actually finished until January, months after the copyright deadline passed, the lawsuit says. 

The suit seeks declaratory relief and aims to block the distribution of the film.

Amazon gained the rights to "Road House" when they acquired MGM in 2021, thus obtaining the media company's library, according to the Los Angeles Times

The remake is slated to launch on Amazon Prime Video on March 21 starring Jake Gyllenhaal and UFC star Conor McGregor. The original film starred the likes of Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott garnering a cult following over the years.  

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