In 1983, Matthew Broderick starred as David Lightman in the brilliantly entertaining sci-fi thriller, War Games. It was a movie that gave us one of the first ever portrayals of a computer hacker, so it’s not surprising that, given the current climate, a lot of fans are keen to see the movie given a modern reboot.
As we’ve seen countless times in movies and on TV, portrayals of hackers and their trade have shifted a great deal from the fun, cat-and-mouse world of David Lightman and the WOPR. In truth, it’s not a movie that has stood the test of time particularly well. That’s not a jab at its quality– it’s still a remarkably fun and well-made movie– but more of an observation at the way the world of hacking exists in modern times.
At SXSW this week, War Games co-writer Walter F. Parkes opened up to an audience about the movie and what it stands for today. Parkes admits that they underestimated the extent to which the world would become connected, which meant they therefore underestimated the gravity of a situation that Lightman and his hacking could have caused.
“I don’t think we ever got a hold of — because I don’t think we ever imagined the extent to which the systems of this planet would be shared and become one big cybergrid — the sort of destructiveness of the hacker side, of hacker activity. At times, I’ve actually felt somewhat guilty about that. Did we overly romanticize something? But luckily it turns out that it also inspired people to get into [computers].”
But, what would War Games be without that classic Broderick charm and carefree attitude? That cheeky, whimsical approach to storytelling was a hallmark of many of our favorite 80’s movies, which might be why many modern day reboots have failed to match their predecessors. So, how would a War Games reboot work at a time when cyber warfare is far more than just science fiction? Parkes says his eyes were opened by an unnamed filmmaker who approached him with an angle….
“I was meeting with a really smart young director a couple weeks ago, and he said — I’ve been thinking about it, there’s a good way to redo WarGames. He said that it should be more like WarGames: Breaking Bad, which is, today, that David Lightman character would realize, ‘Wait a minute, I have an amazing amount of power.’ … Instead of ‘the cute kid almost starts a war and stops it in time,’ is this a world about a cute kid who realizes [that] and starts to mete [out] a certain justice, and also selfish behavior, under the guise of social equality through the power he has.”
So, it would seem that if War Games is to return, the only way it would be possible is with a much darker tone than the original. Got thoughts? Let us know in the box below.
Image Credits: United Artists
Via: The Verge