Dist package generated by gradle not taking JVM options


I am trying to create a prod package from the play scala seed using the gradlew dist command. When i attempt to run the generated binary in build/distributions/playBinary/bin/playBinary with any JVM options or command line arguments I get a bad root server path error. But when I compile the prod package using sbt dist, everything seems to be OK.

For example:
./build/distributions/playBinary/bin/playBinary -h

on a “gradle dist” generated package will give:
Bad root server path: /Users/code/play-scala-seed/-h

I am running java 1.8.0_181 on MacOS high sierra 10.13.6 (17G3025). Anyone encountered this before? Is this a problem with the gradle play plugin?

Thanks in advance!