‘WarGames’ Remake Gets a New Director & Writer

Published 10 months ago by

wargames remake cast WarGames Remake Gets a New Director & Writer

Remakes/reboots are really just business as usual for Hollywood, but in recent years it’s become especially fashionable to revamp films, movie franchises, and/or properties that were born in the 1980s (The Karate Kid, Fright Night, 21 Jump Street, and so forth). It’s been a few years since last we had anything to report about MGM’s planned re-imaging of another ’80s child in WarGames, but today we can offer you a significant update in the form of reports about the project getting a new director and writer (along with an idea of who’s being eyed to headline the film).

The 1983 iteration of WarGames, for those unfamiliar, revolves around a teen computer expert (Matthew Broderick) who inadvertently begins playing a game with a secret U.S. military super-computer – a mistake that could lead to the start of WWIII. Director John Badham’s film was a financial hit that proved generally popular among critics (earning three Oscar nods, including one for screenwriting), while also successfully tapping into Cold War fears and concerns about the possible dangers of computers at the time.

A modernized take on WarGames could very much be something worth everyone’s time from a creative perspective, assuming that the filmmakers involved take an intelligent and thoughtful approach – one that includes accounting for thirty years of changes in computer technology. (One just hopes that the moviemakers understand the Internet better than the folk who worked on Transcendence apparently did, anyway.)

Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) was attached to helm the WarGames remake a few years back, but the latest from Deadline reveals that Dean Israelite – the director whose feature debut, time-travel/found-footage Project Almanac, arrives in 2015 – is finishing a deal that will see him call the shots, while drawing from a fresh script draft by Arah Amel (Grace of Monaco). The Wrap is reporting the same thing, along with an actor shortlist that includes Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) and Tye Sheridan (Mud).

wargames ansel elgort tye sheridan WarGames Remake Gets a New Director & Writer

Ansel Elgort and Tye Sheridan are shortlisted for ‘WarGames’

It might be that the WarGames remake was shaping up as more of a satire/comedy back when Gordon was onboard as director, but that the plan has since changed – and now, Israelite and Amel are collaborating on a more dramatic treatment of the original low sci-fi premise. Either way, if Project Almanac prove to be an inventive addition to the found-footage sub-genre (not a Chronicle knockoff, as the trailer suggested back when the film was called Welcome to Yesterday), then a WarGames re-telling with him at the helm will indeed be something worth getting excited about.

As for the current actor shortlist, both Elgort and Sheridan are rising stars, having broken out with turns in intimate, dramatic, fare. Sheridan has been showered with acclaim for his raw performances in the gritty films Mud and Joe, while Elgort’s charismatic turn in Fault in Our Stars (read our review) has begun to earn him a loyal following. Elgort is arguably the more obvious choice to star in WarGames based on his previous work, but either actor would be a solid choice really.


We’ll keep you posted on developments concerning the WarGames remake.

Source: Deadline, The Wrap

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Wargames
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  1. This is actually a movie that can result in a good remake. We live in a digital era with groups as Anonymous and such. Could turn out great!

  2. Oh yeah, one of the cult classics from the 80s. I bet the new remake will be full of CGI.
    I think is still have a VHS copy somewhere in the basement. I’ve got a box full of old VHS movies as well as 8 track cassettes.
    Miss the 80s.

  3. The Vegas gamblers are at it again. Some things are best left alone. This is one of them. A lot of decades-old movies get a contemporary makeover but they still tank at the box office. An audience that remembers the original like it as it is, but they don’t like the re-mix.

  4. This remake could be awesome, I think it makes more sense than other remakes that have been announced.

    “Would you like to play a game”

    • It’s “shall we play a game”. I loved the original. The remake could definitely be hit or miss.

  5. Is there a reason I’m being blocked as spam?

  6. A War Games remake could honestly be a great movie.
    For all the reasons Sandy states in the writeup and for many more if those involved wanted to tell a truly updated and thought provoking story the movie could be a real hit and stand out from the mostly cookie cutter remakes and reboots we’ve seen.

    On the flip side though this could also easily turn into something like the recent Red Dawn remake.
    Talk about pointless.

    • The problem with the Red Dawn remake wasn’t the story so much as it was the first-time director. The premise for both the original and remake calls you to suspend belief, but it’s all in the execution. As movie-goers, we shouldn’t be biased against remakes just for its own sake.

      • yeah, but the whole premise of the Red Dawn remake was ludicrous. North Korea invading the USA? In what world is that even remotely possible. I am skeptical of this remake as well. The original War Games was all about Cold War paranoia and fear of the start of a nuclear war to end life on Earth as we know it. I don’t see how a remake will have the same sense of dread and doom but will hold off judgement until have seen it.

        • It was suppose to be the Chinese invading America, but they changed it post-production due to financial/distribution concerns in Asia. Yeah, a North Korea invasion is ridiculous,but a Chinese attack is not inconceivable. Unless you’ve forgotten, we’ve already been at war with the Chinese at least once not too long ago (and more if you count 19th century attacks). We’ve even occupied portions of China in the past. And don’t forget, the Chinese pretty well cleaned our clocks in Korea. So a Chinese invasion isn’t impossible, just unlikely.

  7. If it’s teased as more interesting than the current lineup of blockbusters, people will go see it. Otherwise don’t put that much money into the budget for an imminent flop.

  8. See now, THIS could be a title in need of a remake unlike Predator. I watched Wargames on TV last month and it’s so horribly antiquated I had to laugh. To think it was a pretty thought provoking movie back in the day!

    So if they update it for the 21st century it could work, my only question is, is a supercomputer playing war simulations relevant for today? I mean we don’t have 20,000 missiles pointed at Russia anymore so no imminent danger there. All we have is a terrorist climate and just a small threat from China and North Korea.

    I guess as long as the supercomupter doesn’t turn into, “Demon Seed” it will be ok.

  9. See, the problem with alot of these 80′s remakes is that they’re going to stories which were really dependent on the context of the decade they were made in. The remakes that seem to work are the ones in which the stories can be told in anytime ala Karate Kid and 21 Jump Street. When they do things like Robocop, Arthur,Nightmare on elm street,fright night, etc, they fall flat because those films were really products of their time as opposed to being stories which could be told in 1984 or 2014. War games, I feel will probably have the same issue. It was made during at time when PC’s and computers were relatively new to the mainstream and in the context of the Cold War with the US and USSR. I think if you want that kind of thriller, watch the Americans.

    • Wow Sly, you made a very good argument. As much as I want to see a new War Games, Westworld, or Predator movie, it’ll probably be awful, largely due what you laid out. I still think a good script and better director can elevate the material, but such things are hard to find in Hollywood right now.

  10. Although Joshua was wrong (I can win at tic tac toe 7 out of 8 times….. had to work it out as a math project and can still remember how, it’s all about the corners) I love the original, it’s such a product of it’s time it fits perfectly.

    Can’t see how it would translate to a modern world, computer tech is SO advanced Joshua would need to be powered up to Skynet/The Machine in POI levels of intelligence.

    What they gonna do hack the pentagon with an iPad and some malware. I don’t know I just can’t see it working, the threats our governments try to make us afraid of isn’t “the bomb” anymore it’s the terrorist living next door. It’s a different threat.

  11. this movie doesn’t need a remake, we are literally living a prolonged version of the film. i mean look one of the highest grossing video games of all time is call of duty… lol.. pure propaganda. we are living in a movie… open ya eyes.

  12. They already did a modern made for tv remake of this that touched everything all of you said. It wasn’t great but, it was interesting. I would rather they not even bother to be honest as it was only a few years ago that they did this. Any new elements they could bring would likely fall in line with the recent one so remake of a remake???

    Doesn’t sound like a good time.


  13. Lazy, extremely lazy…..

  14. I’m a big fan of the 1983 movie war games from reading various articles the remake is suppose to come out in 2014 . Do you know what year it’s suppose to come out ?