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Screenwriter Hired For ‘WarGames’ Reboot; Karl Gajdusek Scripting ‘Viking’

Written by on August 20, 2011 

After directing a documentary (The King of Kong) and two studio comedies (Four Christmases and Horrible Bosses), Seth Gordon is tackling his biggest project yet in the form of a WarGames reboot. The original movie is mostly just about a kid who accidentally sends the world into a nuclear scare with his computer, but nothing he’s made before had a globe-spanning feel to it. He already showed with two out of those three films (I don’t need to tell you which) that he actually knows his way around with a camera, but it’s still an interesting leap for Gordon to make.

Deadline says that the man writing this update is Noah Oppenheim. His is not a name that you might initially recognize, but he recently wrote a biopic of Jackie Onassis that is set to be produced by Steven Spielberg; it was then said that Darren Aronofsky would direct his then-fiancée, Rachel Weisz, as the widowed First Lady, but the classification of “then-fiancé” may have put the kibosh on those plans. It’s possible that the movie will get made — just not with that duo.

This script is for a movie that’s being “given a wide berth to create a new take on the tale,” and I hope that Oppenheim takes advantage of the opportunity, because the technology at our disposal today can do so much more than what was available when the original came out; there’s definitely room to explore. And most of my problems with WarGames don’t come from the concept — I think it’s kind of neat — but from the filmmaking on display. Gordon is a director whose style has a certain slickness to it, something that I think could translate well to this story. If he and the screenwriter can truly move this tale from the ’80s to the modern day, they could come up with something pretty fun.

Variety also tells us of a screenwriter being hired for Viking, the new film from Baltasar Kormakur that’s being produced by Working Title. Kormakur recently helmed Inhale, and his Mark Wahlberg-starring actioner Contraband opens at the beginning of next year. This new movie is said to be “set in the world of the Norse warriors,” and Karl Gajdusek is writing the screenplay. He’s done some work on projects like Unknown and The Mechanic, and is said to be doing a rewrite of Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion, which will star Tom Cruise.

The big inspiration here is said to be Braveheart and Apocalypto, but, other than that, we shouldn’t expect to hear much more right now, since this is “in early development.” Still, Vikings are an interesting group to take to the screen, and I’m surprised that more studios haven’t decided to make them the subject of films. This isn’t a team whose work I know all that well, but I’d be happy to see anyone bring some historic sailing and killing to theaters.

Are you excited about the WarGames reboot, and is Oppenheim a good choice to script it? Would a movie about Vikings make you intrigued?

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