EXCLUSIVE: MGM has set Noah Oppenheim to write the script for War Games, the reboot of the 1983 thriller that has Horrible Bosses helmer Seth Gordon attached to direct. Oppenheim, a former producer of TV news shows that include Hardball and Today Show, put himself on the map by scripting Jackie, a film about Jackie O that was set up with Black Swan helmer Darren Aronofsky attached to direct. At the time, it was envisioned he’d direct Rachel Weisz in the starring role, but that was before they split. The project is being produced by Aronofsky’s Protozoa banner. Oppenheim also scripted Maze Runner for Fox and Houdini for Summit Entertainment.
MGM made a deal with Gordon in June to direct the film. It’s one of several major remake projects for the reconstituted MGM, which also has Jose Padilha to direct Robocop and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to script Carrie – but the John Badham-directed War Games is one that seems particularly reboot-able. The original starred Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy as computer prodigies who finds a back door into a military computer program. They think they are playing games with the computer only to find they could trigger WWIII if the computer launches nuclear missiles at the Russians. In terms of computer games, kids were playing Pong back then; the level of sophistication with vidgames and the Internet in the digital age opens a wealth of possibilities, and Gordon will be given a wide berth to create a new take on the tale. The deal also reunites him with MGM toppers Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jon Glickman, who were at Spyglass when Gordon directed Four Christmases there. Oppenheim is repped by CAA and Management 360.