Back in 1983, WARGAMES was released and way ahead of its time. It starred a young Matthew Broderick as computer hacker David, a whizz kid who accidentally connects to a top secret network that controls the nuclear weapons of the USA. David believes he’s playing a game called Global Thermonuclear War and when he’s challenged to a war between America and Russia, he accepts. However, the US Department of Defence believes it’s real and he unintentionally starts the countdown to World War 3. If you’ve not seen it, you should. Although you could say it indicates that computers are the work of evil, it really talks about the Cold War and the growing paranoia in the US over nuclear war. I remember having the VHS – yes, video tape! –and I loved it but mainly because it was so futuristic…at the time…and watching it in the early 90s was a proper treat.
The Tribeca Film Festival showed the film this weekend and with it, lead co-star Ally Sheedy watched it again for the first time since it came out. Sheedy played Jennifer, David’s (Broderick’s) beautiful girl-next-door neighbour and WARGAMES shot her into the big time. She her career followed with THE BREAKFAST CLUB, ST. ELMO’S FIRE and SHORT CIRCUIT to name but a few.
She spoke to Collider about seeing it for the first time in years and those rumours on Seth Gordon’s (HORRIBLE BOSSES) remake. They started with asking Sheedy how different is it seeing it now, in reflection to 30 years ago on its release:
Well, I mean, it’s — I’m just remembering stuff when I’m watching it, like “Oh, I remember shooting that!” and there’s just stuff that I, I didn’t catch. It’s just, it’s different looking at it with a perspective of 30 years and where technology is now and all of that, so it was, it’s, you know, obviously a completely different experience.
There are parental lessons in the film, and generally, what do you think we have been learned since that initial release?
Well, I think that lesson hasn’t changed. I mean, it’s still a question of, you know, who can amass the most weapons. I’ve been reading Rachel Maddow’s (Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power) book. She has a whole thing about –how- we can’t dismantle all these weapons that nobody can actually use, you know? We can blow up the world a hundred times and, and so what? It only takes once. So, we have these decrepit, archaic systems but now you’re looking at… Now Iran wants to build their own systems, so suddenly, instead of just worrying about the Soviets, now there are five different nuclear powers now, right? So, it’s the same question, it’s just getting magnified, because now everybody wants this weapon that will kill everybody if you just use one.
And when asked about Seth Gordon’s remake, she had this to say:
…I think it’s great. I think it’s completely timely and it would make, I think it would be a great movie to remake, especially with all the technology now. It would be really interesting. [I also] think they should get two totally unknown high school kids. Nobody knew us [Sheedy and Broderick] in WARGAMES . That made it better (Laughs).
WARGAMES is directed by John Badham and stars Ally Sheedy, Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman and John Wood. You can rent or buy it right here.