The 41-year-old half-Spanish actor is set to star in and produce the first-ever German-language film version of the landmark German novel All Quiet On The Western Front.
The intriguing new version of the WWI story will bring together Bruhl, BAFTA-winning director Edward Berger, and producers Malte Grunertand Daniel Dreifuss.
One of the best-selling German novels of all time, Erich Maria Remarque’s poignant story follows three youngsters who voluntarily enlist in the German army. Full of excitement and patriotic fervor, the boys enthusiastically march into a war they believe in. But once on the Western Front, they discover the soul-destroying horror of war. Their preconceptions about the enemy and the rights and wrongs of the conflict crumble. On the countdown to Armistice, the novel’s protagonist must carry on fighting until the end, with no purpose other than to satisfy the top brass’s desire to end the war on a German offensive.
The novel was famously adapted by Universal and Lewis Milestonein 1930 and went on to win Oscars for Best Pictureand Best Director.
The plan is to shoot the $20M-budgeted film at the end of the year in Belgium and Germany. Goodbye Lenin!and Rushactor Bruhl is attached for the ensemble cast and will be an executive producer.
Casting is underway for the main role of Paul Baumer. The leads will likely be newcomers or emerging actors.
The English-language script, which is being translated into German, comes from Lesley Pattersonand Ian Stokell who first optioned the book rights almost a decade ago.
In-demand German filmmaker Berger told us, “People want authenticity. There is no way this film could be made today in a language other than German. It’s actually remarkable to think there has never been a German-language version. It’s a real hole in our film history. Telling a truthful version of the story is so important to us. We’re thinking of it as being in the tradition of movies like Downfalland Das Boot.”