'Road House' Screenwriter Sues Amazon – Claims AI Mimicked Actors' Voices During Strike

Top line

Screenwriter of the original „Road House” movie Sued On Tuesday, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and parent company Amazon accused the tech giant of copyright infringement and breach of contracts with the Screen Actors Guild for using AI to simulate actors' voices in the 2024 reboot of „Road House.”

Key facts

R. in California. The lawsuit, filed by Lance Hill, alleges that Amazon refused to agree to a date by which the copyright for „Road House” would have to be transferred to him, choosing instead to move forward with production of the film's remake. Based on a screenplay by Hill.

In 2021, Nov. 11, 2023, after Hill transferred the copyright to the production company United Artists, 40 years later, in 2021, he requested the copyright of the screenplay to be returned to him.

Amazon reportedly tried to return to Copyright Hill a day before completing the „Road House” remake, which used artificial intelligence to mimic actors' voices and speed up production during last year's SAG-AFTRA strike.

Hill further alleged that Amazon used AI during the strike knowing that it violated collective bargaining agreements signed by SAG-AFTRA and the Director's Guild of America.

The Jake Gyllenhaal-led “Road House” remake was completed this January, and according to the lawsuit, Hill's copyright should have been returned.

Representatives for Amazon and Hill did not immediately respond to Forbes' request for comment.

Tangent

AI has become a hot button issue in the entertainment industry. Following the end of the actors' union strike in November, some members pushed back on the deal with major studios, saying its terms for using AI and due compensation for actors who used digital copies were inadequate. Actress Justine Bateman, an AI consultant to the SAG-AFTRA negotiating team, said in a string of tweets last year: Holes Contractually, actors can lead to seeing themselves in projects they never agreed to or were compensated for.

Main background

The original „Road House,” released in 1989, starred Patrick Swayze and was written by Hill, who also has screenwriting credits for „The Evil That Men Do,” starring Charles Bronson. The 2024 remake of “Road House” will be released on Amazon's Prime Video site on March 8 and is said to have used Hill's original screenplay. Hill's lawyer, Mark Toberoff, has taken on high-profile intellectual property cases against Marvel Studios and Disney. Los Angeles Times.

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