A couple of virtually-universal truths. Remakes of films aren’t generally all that good. Films about video games aren’t generally all that good either. You can imagine, by some simple maths, that remakes of video game-inspired flicks have an upward battle trying to be taken seriously.
That is, unless the film is the 1983 thriller [surl=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/]War Games[/surl], the studio’s throwing around the word “reboot” rather than a strict “remake”, and the director onboard is the same guy who created The King of Kong, Seth Gordon.
Remakes – or adaptations – of Robocop and Carrie are also allegedly in the works, but the industry seems to think that War Games is the one that’ll go the distance.
In case you’re not familiar with the original (which you really should be, my friends), Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy play computer geniuses, who sneak into a military computer program through a back door in the software. They originally believe they’re merely playing games with a very clever computer – but quickly realise that WWIII is literally at their fingertips, with nuclear missiles waiting to be fired at the Russians.
There’s a couple of things which make this one particularly interesting: Firstly, of course, the timeframe. Set in “modern-day” 1983, gamers were playing titles that look remarkably primitive to us today. How would something like the internet, let alone modern video games, have changed the way this story unfolds?
…secondly, the whole thing starts when Broderick decides he wants to play an unreleased video game, and sets out to hack into the company’s servers. Doesn’t sound too far away from what’s really been going on this year now, does it?
As Gordon himself says to [surl=http://collider.com/seth-gordon-wargames-remake/98669/]Collider[/surl]:
I love the original. I’m a bit of a hacker fanatic, and know a fair bit about that industry and cyber crime and cyber warfare. I have a real point-of-view on the material and how things have changed. And also, I think the politics of the world have changed in really fascinating ways since 1983. There’s no longer a monolithic evil empire somewhere, spreading a different philosophy of life. That doesn’t exist. It’s a much more complicated, nuanced, political world we’re in, and I think that actually makes for a more interesting plot to tell. Frankly, cyber attack is a lot more real.
[surl=http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/king-of-kong-director-seth-gordon-ready-to-play-war-games-in-mgm-reboot/]Deadline[/surl] reports that Gordon has been given plenty of room to redesign things, bringing in as much technology and recent events as he likes. He’s obviously got the gaming knowledge and interest to fill this one with potential – it’s just a pity we won’t get to see it until [surl=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1976650/]2014[/surl].