Here at Giant Freakin’ Robot, we’re as saddened as anyone that roughly one-billion percent of our news coverage involves the word “remake,” but it’s what pays the bills. (In the GFR reboot, I’ll be played by a hot teenager with magical powers.) MGM has spent years trying to put together a modernized update of John Badham’s military nerdcore thriller WarGames, and they’re closer than ever now that they’re in negotiations with Grace of Monaco scribe Arash Amel to pen the script, which is set to be directed by Dean Israelite, whose name-swapping debut feature Project Almanac is coming out next year. Maybe, just maybe, getting new talent involved will keep this project from becoming too big and bloated.
According to The Wrap, the male role may go to one of two young breakout talents: Mud‘s Tye Sheridan or The Fault in Our Stars‘ Ansel Elgort. Their names are solely in the rumor-sphere at this point, as MGM hasn’t confirmed it, but I could easily see either of those guys taking on the role played pitch-perfectly by Matthew Broderick in the 1983 original. Like Broderick, both actors can convey sadness through smiles and subtle glee through glares.
Details on the story are scarce, but it’s expected to revolve around a teenage computer hacker who takes a wrong turn and accidentally unleashes an all-powerful virus to the entire planet’s computer networks. Thirty-one years after the original WarGames, there are a completely different set of rules when it comes to the tech world and the global community, so this is one of the rare instances when a remake has no choice but to completely revamp the storyline. I’d secretly dig one of those shot-for-shot remakes, like Gus Van Sant did with Psycho. This trailer, am I right?
Amel, whose only other produced screenplay was the Aaron Eckhart-led conspiracy thriller Erased, is taking over a job that originally went to Zak Penn (X2: X-Men United) and former Today producer Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner). He’s got two more scripts in the Hollywood pipeline: the romance Seducing Ingrid Bergman and the drama Marie Colvin’s Private War.
Israelite wrote and directed several acclaimed short films, and the Michael Bay-produced Project Almanac (formerly Welcome to Yesterday) was supposed to come out at the beginning of this year but was hit with a giant delay. You can watch the trailer for that time-traveling film below and draw your own conclusions.
Comedy director Seth Gordon was attached to WarGames earlier this year, but he left the project once the Uncharted video game adaptation started moving forward. Keep your floppy disks in order and we’ll let you know more about WarGames as it happens.