We’ve just received a message via Morse code that Netflix may have snagged the world rights to Edward Berger’s adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, a World War I epic starring Daniel Brühl (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, The Alienist).
Believed to be one of the biggest-budgeted films ever to come out of Germany, the project is based on the classic novel about World War I by former German infantryman Erich Maria Remarque, published in 1929. Remarque’s story follows teenagers Paul Baumer and his friends Albert and Muller, who voluntarily enlist in the German army, riding a wave of patriotic fervor that quickly dissipates once they face the brutal realities of life on the front. Paul’s preconceptions about the enemy and the rights and wrongs of the conflict soon crumble. However, amid the countdown to Armistice, Paul must carry on fighting until the end, with no purpose other than to satisfy the top brass’ desire to end the war on a German offensive. (via Variety)
As a subject of many academic studies and taught in classrooms around the world, Remarque’s book is highly regarded as one of the most honest and harrowing depictions of the futility of war. The story was previously adapted by Lewis Milestone not long after its publication and won big at the 1930 Academy Awards by bringing home the prizes for best picture and best director. Much later, in 1979, the story was adapted once more courtesy of the Golden Globe-winning TV movie from Delbert Mann.
Production for All Quiet on the Western Front is scheduled to begin in March with former Washington Post journalist Ian Stokell and producer and actor Lesley Paterson in charge of the script. There’s no doubt that Berger is excited by being at the helm of this latest adaptation, having previously called the project a “physical, visceral and very modern film that has never been told from my country’s perspective.”
“We now have the chance to make an anti-war film that will truly touch our audience,” said Berger.
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