Last night I received a press release with the most forward thinking casting news I have ever seen: Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe will be the lead in a new adaptation of the classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front. Which shoots in 2012.

All Quiet on the Western Front is the story of the tribulations of German soldiers in WWI. The 1930 Oscar winning film version has one of the most effective and devastating final scenes in all of cinema history – a true gut punch that is utterly bleak and hopeless.

The film won’t shoot until 2012 because Radcliffe will be busy on Broadway with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (between that, Equus and All Quiet, Radcliffe seems to have a fondness for the olde fashionedy stuff). Here’s the text of the press release, giving you all the important promotional quotes:

Planned for shooting in the spring of 2012, Radcliffe will play the lead role of Paul, a young man desperate for peer and social acceptance who experiences the catastrophic consequences of personal betrayal and misplaced national heroism.

From a script written by producing duo Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson, the project is being produced through their Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment production shingle.

Says Stokell, “Daniel brings a vulnerability and innocence to Paul. When we realized how much he loved the script we were really excited because we know he can tap into the delicate balance between intensity and believability that is critical for this demanding role.”

For Stokell/Paterson, in their dual roles as writers and producers, it is important for the film to depict both the brutality and day-to-day horror of the trenches for the ordinary infantryman, as well as provide a gripping dramatic storyline.

Adds Paterson, “We are looking to bring the whole experience of the trenches to the audience in a very visceral way, meshing a big production feel with gritty realism.”

Already signed on to play the role of General Reinhardt is acclaimed actor Bernhard Hill.  The project is currently out to top directors and other talent.