The news that mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey (pictured) will star in a remake of Patrick Swayze’s 1989 action classic Road House caused no small amount of buzz last month (along with some passionate editorials), but the discussion is likely to heat up again with this week’s announcement of the director for the project.
Filmmaker Nick Cassavetes, who’s best known for directing the 2004 young-adult romance film The Notebook, has reportedly agreed to direct and write the upcoming Road House remake.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (which first reported Cassevetes’ involvement), the film is expected to feature Rousey in the role originally played by Swayze in the 1989 film — that of a famous bouncer who’s recruited to clean up a rowdy, rural bar. In the course of doing so, however, Swayze’s character runs afoul of the corrupt local businessman who controls much of the town.
While Cassevetes’ most successful film so far is the famous tear-jerker The Notebook, which starred Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, he has also directed some projects that have more in common with what made Road House a cult classic. Along with directing Denzel Washington in the 2002 thriller John Q, he also directed an impressive ensemble that included Bruce Willis, Emile Hirsch, Anton Yelchin, and Justin Timberlake in the 2006 crime drama Alpha Dog.
Still, with films such as The Notebook, 2009’s My Sister’s Keeper, and 2014’s The Other Woman (among other romantic dramas and romantic comedies) dominating his resume, it’s reasonable to expect that Cassevetes’ spin on Road House could have a decidedly different tone than the original film.
For her part, Rousey has expressed her belief that it is a distinct honor to jump into the role originally created by Swayze.
“It is a great honor to play a part in celebrating the life of a man that inspired so many,” Rousey posted on Twitter when the casting news was first announced. “I couldn’t be more grateful to have this opportunity to pay respect to the beloved Patrick Swayze … I promise to work incessantly to make sure this project is a tribute his family and fans can be proud of.”
There’s currently no release date set for the Road House remake.