German writer Erich Maria Remarque’s 1920s novel All Quiet On The Western Front is one of the most iconic “war is hell” stories of all time (it was famously banned and burned in Nazi Germany), and Hollywood jumped at the chance to make a big, epic adaptation in 1930 that went on to win multiple Academy Awards and is still regarded as one of the best films ever made. Now, Netflix is preparing to release a new adaptation of the book directed by Edward Berger and starring Daniel Brühl (taking a break from playing a German guy in American movies to play a German guy in a German movie), and you can see its first trailer below:
Berger doesn’t seem to be holding back on the scale and horror of the story (or the scale of the horror), with wide shots of trench-filled battlefields and close-ups of sad-looking soldiers with their faces covered in mud, paired with the higher-ups in their fancy offices with their fancy uniforms. It’s on-the-nose anti-war imagery, sure, but this is the story for that. Sometimes you don’t necessarily need to get any more clever than “war is bad, look at all the ways that it’s bad.”
All Quiet On The Western Front is the first German film adaptation of the novel, and it will be the country’s submission for the Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards next year. (Which seems like a smart play, since the American adaptation won Oscars and the Academy loves an excuse to highlight Hollywood history, though it will have stiff competition.) All Quiet On The Western Front will be available on Netflix on October 28.