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Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on to play John Dalton in the MGM remake of 1989’s “Road House.” Dalton was originally played by Patrick Swayze, who was fresh off the success of “Dirty Dancing” and quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s most bankable heartthrobs.
The remake will be directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”) and produced by Joel Silver for Silver Pictures. It does not appear as though original cast members Sam Elliott and Kelly Lynch will be making appearances in the remake, and Swayze died in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. However, “Suicide Squad” actor Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Lukas Gage are slated to co-star in the film.
Gyllenhaal and MGM have been in talks about this role for almost a year. MGM really wanted the 41-year-old to play Dalton, who is a “cooler” (a.k.a. bouncer) for a rowdy roadside bar that is frequented by tough bikers.
In the remake, Dalton has a new backstory: He is a former UFC fighter who takes the bouncer job at Road House. (The Ultimate Fighting Championship was not established until 1993, several years after the original movie was made.)
“Road House” has gone on to become a beloved ’80s action flick, but originally, critical reception was … critical. The role of Dalton earned Swayze a “Golden Raspberry” nomination for worst actor, and the film also earned a Razzie nom for worst movie. However, “Road House” later gained cult status on cable television.
Even Roger Ebert had to admit that the movie was so bad, it was almost good. In his 1989 review of the film for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert wrote:
“Road House exists right on the edge between the ‘good-bad movie’ and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer.”
Ouch. Well, as Swayze’s character famously said in the flick, “Pain don’t hurt.”
Since Swayze declined to star in the 2006 remake of “Road House,” which was titled “Roadhouse 2: Last Call,” the film killed off the character, mentioning that John Dalton died previously. This was probably for the best, as the direct-to-video remake (which starred Johnathon Schaech of “That Thing You Do!” fame) was widely panned.
If you lost your original VHS tape of “Road House,” don’t sweat: Currently, you can watch the original “Road House” starring Patrick Swayze on fuboTV, AMC+ Amazon Channel, AMC+ Roku Premium Channel and DIRECTV, or grab a Blu-ray on Amazon.
According to Deadline, the “Road House” remake is an Amazon Original Movie, and it will begin production this month in the Dominican Republic. Once released, it will be available to stream on Amazon Prime.