If you have been reading LaineyGossip for a while, you know Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my forever loves, and that after years of ugly revelations about people like Johnny Depp, Jake G and Timothy Olyphant are basically my only forever loves left standing. But now, I fear, Jake Gyllenhaal has gone too far. He has CROSSED the LINE, and I might have to un-love him for this. For you see, he is going forward with that ILL ADVISED remake of Road House.
We first learned of this possibility late last year, and I warned against it, because you cannot recapture the cocaine magic of Road House. It was too much about the specific appeal of Patrick Swayze specifically contrasted to the other action heroes of the day (Stallone and Schwarzenegger set the standard, Bruce Willis was the Everyman counterpart, and Swayze was the Sensitive Man almost-parody of those guys). In today’s action movie landscape, though, Hot Action Beefcakes like Chris Hemsworth also do comedy, and Sensitive Man-types like Ryan Gosling can promote an action movie while also talking up his role playing Ken in a Barbie movie.
That would have been LITERALLY impossible in the cultural landscape of the 1980s/90s. I mean, back then people were so up their asses about expressive masculinity and what actors could and could not represent on screen that Val Kilmer, a comedy king, had his whole career redirected away from comedic roles—at which he EXCELS—after Top Gun because the Hollywood of the 1980s didn’t know what to do with a hot blonde guy who was also funny, and Top Gun gave them a path to making Kilmer an action star. My essay Every 21st Century Dude Star Owes Val Kilmer Royalties aside, and as batsh-t insane as Road House is, that movie is a deliberate juxtaposition to the action movies of its day, and this Road House simply cannot be that, because action movies today are all things at once—action, comedy, drama, thriller. We’re much more flexible with our genres now, and male stars are not so tightly boxed in.
Doug Liman is on board to direct, and the movie will start shooting later this month. It’s being produced by Amazon Studios via their purchase of MGM last year. Amazon boss Jennifer Salke calls the new movie “a nod to fans of the original, but it is also a big, fun, broad audience movie.” Okay, first of all, fans of the original want Road House left the f-ck alone. And second of all, Road House isn’t broad! It is niche! Again, it is SUPPOSED to be in contrast to mainstream action movies, not be a mainstream action movie itself. Further, Dalton is described as “a former UFC fighter who takes a job as a bouncer at a rough-and-tumble roadhouse in the Florida Keys, but […] soon discovers that not everything is what it seems in this tropical paradise.”
No! Just NO! Dalton is a lover not a fighter! He is a philosopher who is nice until it’s time to not be nice! He is not a former professional fighter. Already, they’re telling me they’ve misunderstood the assignment. Making Dalton a former UFC fighter is the way they’re going to make him famous, just watch. But Road House is a world that presupposes bar bouncers can become famous, at least within the world of clubs and bars, and Dalton needs no outside reputation to bolster him. You don’t question the logic of Road House, you just accept it and live in a world where bar bouncers have reputations that proceed them. The end. It's a Western, Dalton is a gunslinger, he doesn’t need any other occupation to justify his presence at the Double Deuce. I am disappointed in you, Jake G.
Timothy Olyphant would never.
Here are Jake and Jeanne Cadieu shopping in New York yesterday.