Legal Battle Ensues Over Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Road House’ After Amazon Studios Hit With Lawsuit

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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Writer Lance Hill sues Amazon Studios for alleged copyright infringement in California federal court Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reported.

Hill filed a lawsuit to stop the upcoming remake of “Road House.” The lawsuit accuses MGM Studios and its parent company, Amazon, of copyright infringement. It alleges they proceeded with the remake without proper licensing, and the producers never got the approval to remake his screenplay, according to THR.

The case is part of a broader issue where studios face challenges over franchise rights to iconic works from the 1980s, with litigation also involving properties like “Predator,” “Terminator” and “Friday the 13th.” These disputes often settle, but they point out the tension between creators seeking to exercise their rights and studios aiming to capitalize on popular franchises, the outlet stated.

Hill’s specific grievances include Amazon’s use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) allegedly violating collective bargaining agreements, and the studio’s refusal to acknowledge his copyright termination notice. “The film does not use any AI in place of actors’ voices,” the statement added, THR reported. “We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims.” (RELATED: Ice Spice Sued For Copyright Infringement: REPORT)

The studio’s counterargument hinges on the screenplay being a work-made-for-hire, which Hill disputes. He claims that the screenplay’s creation was on his initiative, not a commissioned work. The lawsuit also touches on contemporary issues within the industry, such as the direct-to-streaming release strategy, which has sparked debate among filmmakers and studios about the value and visibility of their work.

Director Doug Liman’s public dissatisfaction with Amazon’s decision to release the “Road House” remake on Prime Video, foregoing a theatrical release, adds another layer of complexity to the dispute, according to THR.