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Doug Liman’s Amazon MGM Movie ‘Road House’ To Open SXSW

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline can tell you that the opening night movie for SXSW on March 8 is Doug Liman’s Amazon MGM feature, Road House. SXSW had no comment. So far the other big studio movie to play SXSW is Universal’s Ryan Gosling action title, The Fall Guy.

Road House is an edgier reboot of the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie. This time around it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who plays the bouncer who has never lost a fight.

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The blockbuster filmmaker of such movies as Edge of Tomorrow and Mr & Mrs. Smith wrote on Deadline today that he will not be at the premiere of this movie — because Amazon MGM opted not to give the pic a theatrical release, and jettison the title to Prime Video. Liman signed up to make a theatrical movie for MGM, but after Amazon took over the motion picture studio, despite their billion dollars commitment to theatrical, the director says his pic got sidelined for homes. This despite the fact that it’s worthy of a big screen treatment, and that the movie tested higher than Liman’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Bourne Identity.

While Liman isn’t against streaming movies, in fact he’s made some, “I am opposed to Amazon gutting MGM and its theatrical business, as I would have been, had Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post and then gutted its newsroom (he did the opposite),” wrote the filmmaker today.

Road House has a strong tie-in to the UFC, which has a rabid and loyal fan base that has spawned over 1.5 billion social media impressions for the film, and marketing hasn’t even started yet. The action is ground-breaking. And Jake Gyllenhaal gives a career-defining performance in a role he was born to play. Audiences will want to see UFC mega-star Conor McGregor take his debut swing at Jake on the big screen. The reality is there’s nothing quite so fun as a good bar fight,” wrote the filmmaker on Deadline.

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