Finally A Good Modern WWI Movie? 'All Quiet on the Western Front' Returns
Ever since Saving Private Ryan, WWII has been the war that's received the most attention in Hollywood and been the setting for the most emotional and unforgettable films, deservedly so. But we can't forget WWI and all of its trench warfare, too. One of the great war films in history, All Quiet on the Western Front from 1930, was filmed and put out before we even knew there would be a WWII, and knowing today's Hollywood it's inevitable to see it remade. From Dark Horizons, there's news that the rights to the novel have been bought and they're looking to make it a big budget, sweeping epic that a trench warfare WWI movie deserves to be.
Ex-Washington Post managing editor Ian Stokell and producer Lesley Paterson are producing and putting together a screenplay that will have a "gritty, journalistic approach" and will, controversially, only use the original novel as a starting point. The film will not only be about the brutality and horror of the trenches for infantrymen, but their intention is "also to add substantially to the development of the main characters" and emphasize the realism.
"We plan on recreating the spectacular visual ambience of trench warfare - miles and miles of desolate, bombed out and cratered landscape - we also intend to add more texture and emotional layering to the overall story" says Stokell.
You've got me interested. If they can do what they did for WWI what they did to WWII via Saving Private Ryan, then I am definitely excited, despite how commercial it may end up.
I hope that the directors can retain most of the original scenes and emotions that were set in the novel, not the 1930s variant. The original novel was absolutely outstanding in it's ability to bring the reader into the emotional, physical and mental horrors that plague Paul Baumer so. Most movies based upon books cut out vital parts and details about the story, but this book is different. Every situation that Paul finds himself caught in the middle of, contribute to the reader (or one who watches the movie) the senses that instill the fear, stress, bleakness, courage and hope of the experiences of Paul. My primary point is that the best way for this movie to be remembered, and someday hailed as a classic, is to keep it as close to the novel itself. Other articles that I've come across on this site have also revealed the directors' desire to expose the audience to the desolate ambiance of the Western Front during the First World War. I agree with this completely, but please do not revolve the movie around combat (adding too much instills the sense of corniness from my experience). His trips on leave and when he is pulled from the front to be reserved are vital to properly display the growing cancerous grip of taint that the war is taking on his life, and I feel it is vital to add these scenes to the movie. Thank You for giving rebirth to this glorious tale, Alec
Alec on Aug 22, 2010
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