Bourne Identity director Doug Liman launched an attack on Amazon for “hurting” his new film.
The frustrated filmmaker vowed not to attend the premiere of Road House, a Jake Gyllenhaal-led remake of the 1989 original, after claiming in a Deadline op-ed that Amazon broke its promise to release the film in theaters. Road House will premiere March 8 at the SXSW festival.
“When Amazon bought MGM, one of the remaining studios that was making big commercial films for theatrical release (films like Bond, Creed) they announced that they would invest a billion dollars in theatrical films, releasing at least 12 films a year,” Liman said. .
“They touted it as ‘the largest commitment by an internet company to cinema,’” he continued. “I can tell you what they then did to me and my film Road House, which was the opposite of what they promised when they took over MGM.”
Liman reportedly planned to “quietly protest” the premiere until he realized “Amazon is suffering more than just me” with the alleged decline in theatrical production. He said they even called his film, which marked UFC star Conor McGregor’s feature debut, a “huge success”.
Liman wrote that this “involvement with the UFC” has “generated more than 1.5 billion social media views for the film, and marketing hasn’t even begun,” adding that “the stunt is groundbreaking” and “Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a career-defining performance in the role he was born to play.”The upcoming remake of “Road House” stars Gyllenhaal, who replaces Patrick Swayze from the 1989 original.
David Becker/Associated Press
The filmmaker also noted that his Road House remake scored higher in test screenings than his biggest hits, including Mr. AndMrs. Smith, but Amazon MGM preferred to release the film on its Prime Video streaming platform rather than finance a theatrical release.
“The reality is there may not be a human being the villain in this story – it may just be Amazon’s computer algorithm,” he said.
“Amazon would sell more toasters if it had more customers; it would have more customers if it didn’t have to compete with cinemas. A computer can produce elegant solutions as easily as solving global warming by killing all humans.”
The director then ended his op-ed with a dire warning, writing that “computers don’t know what it’s like to share the experience of laughing, cheering, and crying with a packed audience in a darkened theater – and if Amazon does, future audiences won’t know either.” .