Yes, classic film fans, prepare to sigh loudly and furrow your brows — and rightly so — as a remake of Lewis Milestone‘s 1930 WWI drama “All Quiet on the Western Front” is getting a remake. And not only that, it’s going to be from “Deep Impact” and “The Peacemaker” director Mimi Leder. Ugh. But if this all sounds somewhat familiar, well, it kind of is.
Let’s rewind back to last summer and you’ll recall that Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, was said to be toplining this long-gestating remake but the curious thing is, there’s no mention of him any longer. Has he moved on? Well, with his name nowhere in sight in Deadline‘s recent update on the project, we would assume so. The project is being produced by the tiny, new production shingle Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment who are still securing funding, and we would wager Radcliffe has his pick of projects with actual financing in place, hence his exit.
The project will be a new version of the classic Erich Maria Remarque novel which follows a group of German soldiers during the First World War and their firsthand experiences with the brutality of war. The film is rightfully regarded as a classic — earning two Oscars for Best Director and Outstanding Production way back in the day — and though it was remade for TV in 1979, starring John-Boy from “The Waltons” and Ernest Borgnine, it’s no surprise that version is strangely less fondly remembered. But that won’t stop Leder.
Her version will take place “in the last 24 hours of the war” while still trying to address the horror, savagery and violence the young men thrown into battle face. Nothing like a gimmicky structure to get that point across. This one is still a long way off though. Production isn’t slated to begin until late 2012 in Europe…depending on whether or not the film gets the money it needs.