Don’t look now, but Hollywood is set to “reboot” another classic film from the ‘80s. Next up on the remake docket? 1983’s WarGames.
Deadline broke news that MGM – newly reorganized in wake of their financial woes – has hired King of Kong director Seth Gordon to helm a remake of the popular film that saw Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy nearly starting World War III when Broderick hacks into a NORAD computer to play a game about thermonuclear war. Turns out it wasn’t a game at all…
The original film, directed by John Badham, seems well suited for a modernized updating. Computers and hacking were relatively new things when Wargames made its theatrical debut, and given the leaps and bounds in techonology over the past quarter of a century, there’s a ton of potential in exploring the story in a modern setting. The one concern with rebooting WarGames is that Gordon and MGM will become so enamored with those technological advances that the high concept supercedes the human element of the story. For all of the technology on display in the original film, it’s still a very human tale focused on the characters – upsetting that balance in a remake could lead to disaster.
Gordon has some experience with examining real people against the backdrop of games and technology, though – his King of Kong was a fascinating documentary about two men competing for the highest recorded score on the arcade game Donkey Kong. The filmmaker certainly managed to put human faces on his subjects in that film – even if he did portray Billy Mitchell as more villainous than he probably is in real life.
No word yet on who might star in this updated version of WarGames, but we’re already imagining places where they can insert a Matthew Broderick cameo. Honestly, it might be harder to find a replacement for Dabney Coleman than anyone – there aren’t quite as many cranky character actors in Hollywood today as there were back in the ‘80s. Maybe Danny DeVito can do it.
Will you see a WarGames remake, or is this a cold war relic better left in the days when Ronald Reagan ruled the world? One thing seems guaranteed -- it can't possibly be worse than Wargames: The Dead Code -- a 2008 direct to DVD sequel that almost no one watched.