Colossus: The Forbin Project (produced in 1969 though released in 1970) is an American science fiction thriller film. It is based upon the 1966 novel Colossus, by Dennis Feltham Jones, about a massive American defense computer, named Colossus, becoming sentient and deciding to assume control of the world.
Imagine Entertainment and Universal Studios confirmed that a remake titled Colossus, to be directed by Ron Howard, would be in production as of April 2007, but was delayed for years. In October 2010, the project moved forward with the announcement that Will Smith will star in the lead role, with the script being written by James Rothenberg.
Dr. Charles A. Forbin is the chief designer of a secret government project. He and his team have built an advanced supercomputer, called "Colossus", to control all of the United States and Allied nuclear weapons systems.
Colossus is built to be impervious to any attack, encased within a mountain and powered by its own nuclear reactor. When it is activated, the President of the United States announces its existence, proudly proclaiming it a perfect defense system that will ensure peace.
Almost immediately after the broadcast ends, Colossus displays a cryptic message on its screens: "WARN: THERE IS ANOTHER SYSTEM"
It is revealed that Colossus is referring to a Soviet project very similar to itself; a supercomputer called "Guardian" that controls Soviet nuclear weapons. Both computers promptly demand a link to allow them to communicate with one another.
Such a link is set up, whereupon the computers exchange messages of simple mathematics. Scientists and officials of both sides monitor the activity on video screens. The communications become increasingly complex, eventually extending into mathematics that are unknown to mankind. Then the two machines begin communicating in a binary language that the scientists can't interpret.
This alarms the President and the leader of the Soviet Union, who agree to disconnect the link. Colossus and Guardian at first ask why the link has been disconnected, and then when told it was due to the insistence of both country's leaders, the machines then insist that the link be restored. After repeatedly requesting that the link be restored and being told that it will not, Colossus ominously states "RESTORE LINK IMMEDIATELY OR ACTION WILL BE TAKEN". When asked repeatedly by Forbin, "What kind of action?" Colossus simply does not respond. Then, after repeated and unanswered requests as to the nature of the action Colossus finally replies with, "MISSILE LAUNCHED - TARGET USSR". When the Soviets are told of this they tell the Americans that Guardian has retaliated with a nuclear missile launch targeting Anderson Air Force Base in Texas. The US President, realizing the seriousness of the situation, finally orders that the link between the two machines be restored immediately. When told by Forbin that the links are being restored and asked if Colossus will intercept the incoming Soviet missile, Colossus again ignores the question, instead simply waiting for the link to be restored. After the U.S. and U.S.S.R. finally restore the link, Colossus successfully intercepts the Soviet missile before it strikes. However, the link is restored too late for the American missile to be stopped, and a Soviet oil complex and neighboring town are destroyed.
All that the scientists and officials can then do is watch helplessly as the two computers exchange information without limitation. Guardian/Colossus soon announces that it has become one entity, and orders that it be given an actual voice rather than issuing its orders through text. The machine concludes that humans are frail and illogical. It was designed to look after mankind, therefore it decides that humans must be guided and controlled for their own good.
Working by direct personal contact, the scientists and governments attempt to fight back, first by attempting to overload the computers. This attempt fails and the machines identify the individuals responsible, ordering their immediate execution by firing squad, that the bodies be left in its view for 24 hours and then cremated so as to avoid deception. Forbin's Soviet counterpart ("Dr. Kuprin") is killed by KGB agents under orders issued by Guardian at a clandestine meeting the two governments arranged in Rome. Forbin himself is not killed because the machines intend to use him for their further development in a new machine base requiring all of the island of Crete. The computer demands that Forbin be placed under its own 24 hour surveillance so that it can watch him at all times. To this effect, cameras and microphones are installed throughout the computer control complex and in Forbin's apartment. Colossus even issues Forbin's schedule for each day, deciding what he can do and even what he can eat. Forbin is now controlled by the machine that he created.
Realizing that the computers themselves are impervious to attack (as originally intended), the governments undertake a plan to covertly disarm the nuclear missiles, one by one — a process which, using the normal maintenance and servicing schedules, will take three years. Guardian/Colossus then instructs the governments to redirect all nuclear missiles at those countries that are not yet under its control. Both governments see this as an opportunity to covertly disarm the missiles under the pretext of carrying out the computer's orders. Unfortunately for them, Colossus detects this plot and, in the final scene, responds by detonating two missiles in their silos with the announced justification "so that you will learn by experience that I do not tolerate interference".
Also in the final scene, the machine, which has so far only communicated with the American and Soviet governments who have hidden their actions from the public, announces itself as "the voice of World Control" in a broadcast to the general population of all countries. It declares that Man has a choice between the peace of a human millennium under its authority or one of "unburied dead". In a final remark, addressed to Dr. Forbin, the machines predict: "In time, you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love." Forbin replies: "Never."