Doug Liman Attends ‘Road House’ SXSW Premiere After All, Despite Boycott Plans

After saying he would not be attending the premiere of Road House out of protest, Doug Liman is in fact at the SXSW screening of his latest film, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

In January, Liman wrote an open letter voicing his displeasure that Amazon MGM would not be releasing the film in theaters, despite what he said were positive test screenings. He wrote at the time, “Amazon asked me and the film community to trust them and their public statements about supporting cinemas, and then they turned around and are using Road House to sell plumbing fixtures.”

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In protest, he wrote that he would boycott the SXSW premiere. But on Friday evening, he was seated in the audience for the film’s debut.

The film is a remake of the 1989 movie of the same name that starred the late Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott. (A title card at the top of Road House premiere said that the screening was dedicated to Swayze.)

In Liman’s version, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Elwood Dalton, an ex-UFC who is living out of his car when he is approached by the owner of a roadside Florida bar (Jessica Williams) about a job as a bouncer. He quickly comes into contention with a wealthy developer (Billy Magnussen) who is looking to take over the bar.

Before the film, Gyllenhaal shouted out Liman from the stage at the Paramount Theater, saying, “I also want to thank our incredible director, he’s in the audience tonight.” The actor added that he and Liman have been friends for 15 years and had long wanted to work together: “He’s so brilliant and this movie is, too.”

Along with Gyllenhaal, Williams, and Magnussen, Lukas Gage, Post Malone, and JD Pardo were also on hand at the premiere, as well as UFC champion-turned-actor Conor McGregor who plays the film’s resident villainous fixer.

Online reactions largely singled out McGregor’s campy, over-the-top performance. During the post-screening Q&A with moderator Dax Shepherd, McGregor said of making the movie, “It’s very hard work. When I saw it come to life on the screen, when I was watching the movie, I was thinking, ‘I’m going to fuck this up.'”

From the stage, McGregor thanked the filmmakers for casting him and added, “Doug Liman is not on the stage and he should be on the stage,” which was met by resounding applause from the audience.

Gyllenhaal talked about working to get McGregor into Road House, saying, “We were chasing Conor and were hoping he was going to do the movie, and all of a sudden we got the call he was going to do it. You know the feeling when you buy the house you always wanted and you go, ‘What the fuck did I just do?’ That’s the feeling. I wanted to run as far as I possibly could.”

Road House‘s other acting newcomer, Malone, was asked how he found the experience. He laughed, “Shit, I don’t know what I am doing. I was saying backstage that there is no autotune for acting. It really is a lot of hard work and everyone here destroyed it.”

Road House is due to be released on Prime Video on March 21.

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