Hollywood is far from being over its remake frenzy, especially when it comes to popular original titles that burst onto the scene back in the 1980s. Add one more to the ever-growing pile of reboots or “modernized” takes on older movies, as MGM is moving forward with a Wargames remake.
Seth Gordon – the man behind the old-school gaming documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – is now attached to develop the Wargames reworking, with the intention of directing.
Nominated for three Oscars (including Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography), the original 1983 movie Wargames revolves around David (Matthew Broderick), a high schooler who spends most of his time playing computer games. Things take a turn for the crazy when David hacks a military computer program and thinks he’s playing a role-playing war game with the system – unaware that his actions could result in missiles being launched at Russia, thus triggering a third World War.
In its scoop, Deadline rightly points out that a new take on Wargames could differ significantly from its predecessor, which was released long before the Internet in its contemporary form ushered in a new “digital age,” so to speak. The remake would presumably take place in the modern world – and thus be set against a different political backdrop than the Cold War landscape in the original film (kind of like the Jason Bourne movies vs. the original novels).
Those unfamiliar with Gordon’s King of Kong – and who missed his underwhelming feature directorial debut, Four Christmases – will be able to get a taste of his filmmaking abilities next month, with the dark comedy Horrible Bosses. Depending on how well (or not) that movie goes over, interest in Gordon’s Wargames remake could be subsequently heightened or lessened.
“Unnecessary” is often the first word that comes to most people’s minds when a story about yet another remake or reboot of a 1980s title hits the scene. This summer alone we’re getting new versions of Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian – not to mention, this fall’s updated take on Footloose and the upcoming retooling(s) of movies like Total Recall and Robocop. To be fair, though, some of these films actually seem to have promise, and may offer moviegoers more than just a “modernized” rehashing of a previous picture (for example, Conan looks to draw more from the comic book incarnation of the character, and less from the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle).
Wargames is arguably just as timely (if not more so) a story today than it was back some twenty-eight years ago, which does bode well for the prospect of Gordon doing something creative and thoughtful with the remake. However, the 1983 original does have the benefit of the nostalgia factor – meaning that a lot of people might not even be willing to give Gordon’s film the time of day, regardless of whether or not it’s given a positive critical reception. On the other hand – few seemed to think that last year’s Karate Kid had the potential to be a big hit at the box office either, and we saw how that turned out.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of the Wargames remake as more information is released.