All Quiet on the Western Front was not my favorite book in high school—primarily because anything that wasn't in totality about teen angst went well over my head at that point. But since escaping the density of this era, I've come to appreciate both Erich Maria Remarque's World War I novel and the 1930 film adaptation directed by Lewis Milestone. So yes, I'm excited by the idea of an All Quiet on the Western Front remake being headed by director Mimi Leder. But I'm not too excited. Yet.
This is no attack on Leder: she brought us the unfairly-overshadowed Deep Impact, the high-octane George Clooney vehicle The Peacemaker and the title-has-pervaded-the-public-lexicon Pay It Forward. It's just that, the first All Quiet movie was so well-done because it was created by the same generation that wrote, and lived, the book. Of course the hardship of war is something to which the present is no stranger, but every war, just like everything, is unique in its turmoils, its injustices, its relationships... I do not think it shouldn't be attempted. There's almost no idea that shouldn't be attempted. But I will keep my optimism in check.
But I do wish the best of luck to Mimi Leder, and to all who sign on to create this movie, including Daniel Radcliffe, who has been reported to take on the lead. I'm sure it will, in fact, be a reverent, earnest and intriguing film. And I genuinely hope that it will justly capture what the book so powerfully conveys. Unfortunately, production won't start until next year, so we have a while until we find out.