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Jake Gyllenhaal Remembers Original 'Road House' Star Patrick Swayze In Sweet Tribute

Jake Gyllenhaal is celebrating the release of the “Road House” remake with an emotional salute to the late actor who played his character in the 1989 original.

On Sunday, Gyllenhaal shared a throwback photo of himself posing with Patrick Swayze, with whom he appeared in the 2001 thriller “Donnie Darko,” on Instagram. In the accompanying caption, the actor hinted at differences between Swayze’s “Road House” and his performance in the remake, but noted that he was hopeful that his former co-star would still have enjoyed the new film.

“I’ve been thinking back about my time working with Patrick on Donnie Darko, and rewatching this great man in the original Road House plus so many other films. I’ve never stopped being a fan,” Gyllenhaal wrote. “He was such a talent and I continue to have so much respect and admiration for what he put out and into the world.”

He went on to note: “I’ll never forget his kindness to me when I was starting out— he didn’t have to take the time, but he always did. We’ve made a different RH this time around, but hoping it’s one he would’ve had fun watching!”

Patrick Swayze in 1989's
Patrick Swayze in 1989's "Road House." Aaron Rapoport via Getty Images

Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at age 57. The three-time Golden Globe nominee was hot off his “Dirty Dancing” success when he appeared in 1989’s “Road House,” which also starred Sam Elliott and Kelly Lynch. The movie followed James Dalton (played by Swayze), a New York bar bouncer who relocates to Missouri to run security at a local bar and ends up saving a small town from a corrupt businessman.

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The 2024 remake stars Gyllenhaal as Elwood Dalton, a reimagined version of Swayze’s character. This time around, the protagonist is a former UFC middleweight fighter, while the film itself takes place in the Florida Keys.

The original “Road House” received middling reviews and was a box office disappointment. Perhaps buoyed by Swayze’s better-regarded performances in “Dirty Dancing” and other films, however, the movie was a surprise hit on home video.

Only time will tell if Gyllenhaal’s performance in the new “Road House” will fare better. The film’s rollout, however, has gotten off to bit of a bumpy start.

Jake Gyllenhaal in 2024's
Jake Gyllenhaal in 2024's "Road House." Prime Video

In January, director Doug Liman announced plans to skip the movie’s South by Southwest (SXSW) premiere after its distributor, Amazon, opted for a direct-to-streaming release on Prime Video instead of a theatrical run.

“That hurts the filmmakers and stars of ‘Road House’ who don’t share in the upside of a hit movie on a streaming platform,” Liman, whose credits include “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” wrote in an essay for Deadline. “And they deprive Jake Gyllenhaal — who gives a career-best performance — the opportunity to be recognized come award season.”

R. Lance Hill, who wrote the screenplay for the original “Road House,” filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Amazon Studios last week. In it, Hill alleged that work on the new movie wasn’t completed until January, months after the copyright deadline had passed and he’d reclaimed the film rights.

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