Doug Liman Changes Mind, Attends SXSW Opening Night ‘Road House’ Premiere

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EXCLUSIVE: After declaring in a Deadline guest column that he would boycott the SXSW Opening Night debut of Road House, director Doug Liman has changed his mind, and is in the Paramount Theatre right at this moment. I’m told that Liman won’t take the stage to introduce the movie, he’ll just be in the crowd watching. It’s a tradition for him, slipping into theaters and watching how his movies play.

Liman made the difficult decision to stay away because he felt that Amazon MGM signed him to a deal that called for a theatrical release of Road House, but instead switched and is launching the film directly on the Amazon Prime streaming service, beginning March 21. Producer Joel Silver also exited the premises in a dispute that has become a bare knuckle brawl in the press. In Liman’s column, he said even though Road House tested higher than his films The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Amazon would not change its decision to go straight to streaming.

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It is expected that Jake Gyllenhaal will introduce the film tonight. He plays Dalton, a former UFC fighter-turned-bartender who tries to tame the crowd in a Florida Keys bar. In his path is Knox, a psycho brawler played by former UFC champion Conor McGregor, making his screen starring debut. There might be a tip of the hat to Liman, but he will keep a low profile. It will be the only opportunity the director will have to see how the film plays in a packed theater. Road House is a raucous mix of humor, action scenes and brawling, so chances are the film will tear the roof off the place.

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