The world has changed since WarGames was the fifth biggest blockbuster of 1983. The cold war ended. Suicidal terrorists replaced nuclear mutually assured destruction as the ultimate nightmare. And computers, thankfully, got much, much, much smaller. In other words, it’s a great time to resurrect the story of a mischievous American teenager who nearly starts a war when he hacks into the military’s most powerful computer, as Deadline reported that MGM has decided to do. For one thing, Matthew Broderick’s whiz kid isn’t some rare oddball anymore. Hackers have long since become a staple of techno-thrillers, and you only have to look to recent headlines — like the 19-year-old British kid who cracked the CIA computers — for evidence of our real-world technological vulnerability. In addition, today’s audience is much-more computer savvy; even your parents can follow a complex plot full of high-tech mumbo-jumbo.
MGM is talking to Seth Gordon about the project, according to his spokesperson, and though the Horrible Bosses‘ director is best known for his more recent comedies, he also directed a 2009 online documentary for McAfee antivirus software titled, H*Commerce: The Business of Hacking You. (He also went to the same high school as Bill Gates and Paul Allen, so he’s got more than a little cyber cred.)
The crucial question is who should play the role that helped make Broderick a star. WarGames set the table for Ferris Bueller, and there were definitely clues to Ferris in the too-smart-for-his-own-good character of David — right down to the hacking into the schools’ computers scenes in both films. Ten years ago, Topher Grace would’ve been the perfect guy to be at the keyboard, but he’s long since graduated from high-school roles. Today, I could see Anton Yelchin or Josh Hutcherson in the role, but let me suggest another name. Like Broderick, he’s a Broadway star, but I think you may know him: Daniel Radcliffe.
Who would you cast as the young hacker in a new WarGames movie? Would you consider making him a her?